Kobe on recruiting players to Lakers: 'If I need to convince you ... you ain't the one'

Ahead of the first NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles since 2011, Kobe Bryant, a Staples Center hero himself, sat down with Jalen Rose for an interesting interview. 

At one point, Bryant was asked about about recruiting players to join the Lakers. The team, of course, is expected to make a strong push in free agency, both this summer and potentially next. 

Bryant, though, rejected the idea that he’d have to convince players to come to L.A. “If I need to convince you to come here, to carry that legacy forward, then you ain’t the one to be it,” Bryant said at one point. Via ESPN:

“You know, the thing about this franchise is that you shouldn’t need recruiting to come in it,” Bryant said. “It takes a special person to want to play for this franchise, and take the pressure that comes along with playing for this franchise. The pressure of following Magic [Johnson]’s footsteps, myself and the dynasty that we’ve had, it takes a special person to do that.

“And if I need to convince you come here, to carry that legacy forward, then you ain’t the one to be it.”

While some extra coercion from one of the game’s greats certainly wouldn’t hurt the Lakers’ chances of landing a free agent, it makes sense that Bryant feels this way. 

Not once in his career has Bryant been mistaken for the encouraging type. He went all-out, with 100 percent focus every time he stepped onto the court, and you were either with him, or you weren’t. Apparently, the same thing goes in retirement.