What Team Would Kobe Bryant the GM Build Around Kobe Bryant the Superstar?

Some NBA superstars, like Los Angeles Clippers point guard (and soon-to-be free agent) Chris Paul, don't like it when people think they're pulling strings behind the scenes. Others, like Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, will gladly admit they're doing just that.

At least, that would seem to be the case in the wake of Kobe's revealing interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. When asked about what his role within the Lakers organization might be if Dwight Howard opts to sign elsewhere this summer, the Black Mamba replied matter-of-factly (as he has so often in this candid, "old man" mode of his):

It's gotten to a point at this stage in my career where those lines of communication are more open and we talk more frequently both with [general manager] Mitch [Kupchak] and [vice president of player personnel] Jimmy [Buss] and [vice president of business operations] Jeanie [Buss] to a certain extent. Those lines of communication are open.

As well they should be. Kobe's been an integral part of the Lakers for the better part of two decades now, and they went to great lengths to retool their roster last summer in an attempt to capitalize on his twilight.

Things didn't come together quite like LA had hoped, to say the least. Injuries decimated the roster from start to finish, with Kobe's torn Achilles toward the end of the 2012-13 season serving as the rotten cherry atop the most disappointing metaphorical cake in franchise history.

As a result, the Lakers now find themselves in much greater flux than they had originally anticipated. A subpar season has landed Dwight back on the fence, Pau Gasol (probably) on the trading block, and Steve Nash in the unfamiliar position of having to prove that he's still an ageless wonder.

Not to mention Kobe, who hopes to be back in time for opening night in 2013-14 but seems to understand that his latest injury is one from which he absolu...

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