Kobe Bryant Reportedly Helping Lakers Recruit Kyrie Irving


NBA analyst Ric Bucher appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports Radio and Fox Sports 1 yesterday and explained that Irving is down to the Lakers and Nets:

“The latest that I’ve heard is that it’s between Brooklyn and the Lakers. And I’ve heard that the Lakers – and Kobe Bryant indicated to me that he was not involved… but I was told in the last 24 hours, Kobe has been busy recruiting Kyrie, in particular, to try to get him to the Lakers. Everything that I’ve heard, I would still expect that Kyrie is going to go to Brooklyn, that’s the odds-on favorite. And if we’re going to continue our real estate, he just bought a place in South Orange.”

Bryant’s influence on Irving can make a big difference for the Lakers in the offseason. The team’s interest in reuniting Irving and LeBron James is not recent, as explained by Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times:

“Magic Johnson was going to target Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving for the one max slot the Lakers had this summer. The feeling is Kevin Durant is going to New York or staying in Golden State. LeBron James was (and likely still is) going to be apart of the recruiting meeting.”

cuffsthelegend posted a photoshopped image of Kyrie Irving wearing a Lakers jersey on Instagram and LeBron James liked it.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, LeBron James has been in contact with Irving:

“I think Kyrie is considering the Lakers… I know he’s in touch with LeBron & LeBron’s gonna make a run to recruit him.”

Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press reported that on January 16 Irving called James to “apologize for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips.”

Irving asked for a trade from the Cavaliers because he didn’t want to play in James’ shadow but now he has a newfound respect for him after experiencing first hand the burden of leading a team.

Irving’s leadership and focus in this year’s NBA Playoffs was questioned, particularly in the second round series against the Bucks. The star point guard averaged 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 36.7 minutes over nine playoff games but he shot just 38.5 percent from the field and 31.0 percent from 3-point range.

Where Will Kyrie Irving Play Game 1 of the 2019-20 NBA Season?
(Courtesy of BetOnline)

Knicks -150

Nets +200

Celtics +500

Lakers +700

Clippers +1000

Mavericks +1600

Raptors +2500