How Can the Los Angeles Lakers Maximize Kobe with or Without Carmelo?

It’s exciting to be a Los Angeles Lakers fan again. After a season to forget, there’s reason for optimism. The team drafted promising rookie Julius Randle, there are reports that Carmelo Anthony is strongly considering joining the purple and gold, according to Yahoo Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, and the much-maligned Mike D’Antoni is out as head coach.

But most importantly, Kobe Bryant says he’s 100 percent healthy, as reported by Yahoo Sports, and Lakers fans know that when he’s at the top of his game, everything else tends to fall into place. The question the team needs to address then, is how they can help him get back to the top of his game and keep him there over the next two seasons.

It won’t be easy. Despite their efforts, Lakers management has ventured into one unsuccessful endeavor after another since their last championship in 2010. Fortunately, the slate is clean and a vision is slowly taking form. That Bryant’s talents need to be maximized is evident; how to go about this is the challenge.

Here are some ideas, all of which apply irregardless of whether Anthony joins L.A or not.


Hire the right coach

Bryant has played long enough that it’s not hard to imagine what kind of coach will be effective alongside him.

First and foremost, the new coach needs to have credibility—real credibility, not the superficial kind that Mike D’Antoni boasted. That means sustained playoff success or a demonstrated mind for the game that former players like Jeff Hornacek and Derek Fisher have displayed.

Secondly, the new coach should have the respect, but not necessarily the friendship, of Bryant. Jackson and Bryant weren't best friends during their years together, but they undoubtedly respected each other’s talents. And finally, the coach needs to have a system in mind to maximize Bryant&rsquo...

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