What L.A. Lakers Would Look Like If Kobe Bryant Were Coach

If you're a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers or you happen to spend a lot of time around Lakers fans, chances are that in the last two years, either you or someone you know has joked that the Lakers might as well just make Kobe Bryant their head coach.

But what if it actually happened?

What if, after the Lakers fired Mike Brown five games into the season, Jim Buss said, "There's no way I'm bringing Phil back. There's no one else who can come in and turn this thing around on the fly. I don't want to pay an overmatched coach while I'm still paying the guy I just canned. Screw it, let's just let Kobe coach the team!"?

It's a fantastical scenario, to be sure, but let's flesh it out just for kicks. No doubt the Lakers would be a far different team than they are now, but would it be for better or for worse? 

Here's how the Lakers would look if Kobe got to channel his inner Bill Russell and be L.A.'s player-coach for this season. (Also, get ready for the most candid coaching interviews you've ever seen.)

1. Slow the Game Down

What have we been hearing (and seeing) all year? The Lakers are old and slow. Kobe knows this better than anyone, and though he's given us some flashbacks to his athletic peak, Bryant doesn't crave the up-tempo pace coach Mike D'Antoni has installed.

Just look at the way he plays. Rarely does Bryant catch the ball and fire away. Rather, he takes a couple seconds to survey the defense before going on the attack.

As a team, the Lakers currently rank fourth in the NBA in pace. 

But why?

There's no point in pushing the tempo when you don't have the horses to run with your opponent. How many times this year have we witnessed Ty Lawson or James Harden or Russell Westbrook sail coast to coast for an easy layup after made baskets?

Los Angeles' advantage is their size. Their roster composition is much more similar to ...

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