Kobe Bryant SG LAL 3 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 3 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 4 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.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 4 Months

The Lakers have interviewed Kurt Rambis for their vacant head coaching position, and they'll meet with Alvin Gentry and Lionel Hollins later in the week.

L.A.'s pool of candidate seems to quickly be taking shape, and the emphasis on veteran coaches meshes with Kobe Bryant's desire to immediately compete for a championship. Whether that's feasible remains to be seen, as L.A. only has three players under contract for the 2014-15 season.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 4 Months

The Lakers are looking for their next head coach to get the most out of Kobe Bryant's abilities, according to General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Kupchak thinks that Kobe will be in full attack mode when he returns from his knee injury next season and even though the Laker won't consult Bryant as part of their coaching search, the Lakers' GM is looking for a coach to help maximize Bryant's production. "He's under contract for two more years, and we think he's a very integral part of this team," Kupchak said. "We have to make sure that whoever we hire as a coach can really get the most productivity out of him, whether it's scoring the ball or playmaking or the threat that he may score." Kupchak also added that Kobe "looks good" so far in the early stages of his recovery from a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, so that's at least a small nugget of good news for Bryant's fantasy owners in dynasty leagues.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 4 Months

Kobe Bryant (knee, Achilles) said his health is at "100 percent."

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 5 Months

John Calipari once again said he will not be leaving the University of Kentucky.

Just before the National Championship game, former Kentucky player and current broadcaster Rex Chapman tweeted that Calipari to the Lakers was a done deal. Those rumors reignited when Mike D'Antoni resigned earlier this week. But we doubt there's anything real here, especially after the majority of Kentucky's players decided to spurn the NBA. Coach Cal will be the overwhelming favorite to cut down the nets next season. "Before it starts, I'm totally committed to helping this group of young men reach their dreams. I wouldn't & couldn't leave this group!" Calipari tweeted Thursday.

Kobe Bryant SG LAL 5 Months

The Lakers will interview George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott and Kurt Rambis as part of their search to replace outgoing head coach Mike D'Antoni.

These four veteran NBA coaches join a rapidly growing list of candidates that already includes Tom Thibodeau, John Calipari, Kevin Ollie and Derek Fisher. It will take a while to whittle down this pile of coaches and the team won't make any final decisions without consulting Kobe Bryant, so we can anticipate many more updates before a contract is signed.