Kobe Bryant SG LAL 3 Days

Bryant has been analyzing Paul Pierce's game over the last few years to help him understand how to continue to play efficiently as he ages, SI reports.

Bryant won't be drastically changing his game to play like Pierce, so the application of this story is more of it simply being an interesting anecdote about the respect Bryant has for how Pierce has adapted to the reality of time breaking down the body of NBA players. In terms of this season, Bryant's value will be tied to his health and how coach Byron Scott decides to utilize him.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 1 Month

Head coach Byron Scott said Kobe Bryant has been working out with Wesley Johnson and Nick Young.

Scott added his team "better be ready to play some defense" this season. The Lakers had the third-worst defensive efficiency in the NBA last season and allowed the most field goals at the rim by a fairly wide margin. As for Bryant, he was at one point expected to be back in action in January, so he should be 100 percent when training camp comes around.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 1 Month

Kobe Bryant has offered his full support for new Lakers coach Byron Scott.

L.A. has not officially announced Scott as their coach, but he confirmed in an interview that it's only a matter of time. "[Scott] was my rookie mentor when I first came in the league," Kobe said. "We've had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years." Scott has 13 years of NBA head coaching experience, including four playoff appearances and two Eastern Conference championships, but he'll have his hands full with the Lakers' rebuilt roster.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 1 Month

Kobe Bryant said he's "afraid" of life after basketball.

"You really have to lean on muses and mentors going forward, just as I did as a kid. It's about having that next wave of things, which is scary as hell, but it's fun at the same time," Bryant said. He seems like a basketball lifer and may play beyond the two years of his current deal. Bryant should be 100 percent healthy coming into the 2014-15 season and is a decent risk-reward pick in the early rounds of fantasy drafts.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 2 Months

Kobe Bryant intends to meet with Carmelo Anthony following Anthony's meeting with the Knicks on Thursday.

Kobe was expected to be with the Lakers earlier for a meeting, but he couldn't make it on time. Melo and Bryant are close friends and he may have more power in persuading Anthony than any other Lakers' front-office guy. This meeting makes it less likely that we see Melo make his decision tonight.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 2 Months

Kobe Bryant will be present when the Lakers host unrestricted free agent Carmelo Anthony.

The Lakers will host Carmelo Anthony on a free agent visit Thursday and Bryant flew in from a European vacation late Wednesday night so that he could join the meeting. Kobe and Melo are long-time friends and the Lakers are hoping Bryant will be able to convince Anthony to come to Los Angeles and help rebuild the team with Bryant. Anthony has said he prioritizes winning a championship at this point in his career, however, so a decision to sign with the Lakers would seemingly fly in the face of that line of thought.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 2 Months

General manager Mitch Kupchak said on Thursday that Kobe Bryant (knee) is "fine."

"Obviously he has to prove that," Kupchak said. "He looks great." The Lakers' injuries last season were unprecedented in this era of hoops, but at least they were able to get Julius Randle out of it. Bryant has been taking in some World Cup action in Brazil and has recently said he's 100 percent. He could be a nice value pick in the early rounds of drafts after a disastrous 2013-14.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 3 Months

Kobe Bryant said during a recent interview in Brazil that his knee is "100 percent" healthy.

He was taking in Brazil to watch the World Cup, but took a moment to address his health and the Lakers' prospects for next season. "We only have three players from last year's team signed to contracts ... we don't have a coach, so it's literally like starting from scratch," he said. "It [will be] a very, very tough season but what's life without a few challenges?" He seemed to include himself in the Lakers' search for a new coach, saying, "We're really going to take our time and pick the right person," which is worth noting since GM Mitch Kupchak has suggested he wouldn't consult Kobe during the search.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 3 Months

Kobe Bryant responded directly to U.S. soccer coach Jrgen Klinsmann's criticism regarding his recent 2-year, $48.5 million contract extension.

"I thought it was pretty funny. I thought it was pretty comical actually," Bryant said. "I see his perspective. But the one perspective that he's missing from an ownership point of view is that you want to be part of an ownership group that is rewarding its players for what they've done while balancing the team going forward. If you're another player in the future and you're looking at the Lakers organization, you want to be a part of an organization that takes care of its players while at the same time planning for the future."

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 3 Months

The Lakers plan to interview more head coach candidates than the five they've spoken to already -- Mike Dunleavy, Alvin Gentry, Lionel Hollins, Kurt Rambis and Byron Scott.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is expected to speak with Derek Fisher on the phone in the near future but it's unclear whether Fisher, who is also being courted by the Knicks, will be invited for an in-person interview. According to USA Today's Sam Amick, the five existing candidates are all still in the running.