Could Kobe Bryant end up going into coaching after his playing days are done?
"After a 12-minute appearance, testing his sore left ankle in Friday night's game in Indianapolis, Bryant molted into a bench assistant, directing teammates and even pulling out a grease board and diagraming plays." wrote former Times columnist Mark Heisler for The New York Times.
The Lakers pulled out a close 99-93 victory over the Pacers, the second-best team in the Eastern Conference.
Coach Mike D'Antoni said he didn't mind Bryant's contribution — with a caveat.
"You've just got to make sure he tells them the right things because he could be giving them different directions than I am," said D'Antoni. "That's not good — a little bit of a loose cannon."
While Bryant recently said he has an idea of what he'd like to do in retirement, he also said coaching is not on the list. The Lakers All-Star has one more year on his contract after this season. It's unclear whether he will re-sign, but Bryant has hinted the end may be near.