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What exactly does a new coach say to Kobe Bryant?

Italy Basketball Bryant Bologna

U.S. basketball star Kobe Bryant plays with a ball during a sponsor’s appearance in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. Bryant said it’s “very possible” he will play in Italy during the NBA lockout, adding the country is like home because he spent part of his childhood there. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)


When the Lakers hired Ettore Messina to be part of Mike Brown’s coaching staff, it was seen as a coup in coaching circles. Lakers fans were confused, tried to search him on their iPhones, then complained about AT&T’s coverage and gave up.

So they know, Messina is one of the brightest coaching minds in Europe, a legend there. But he faces the same big hurdle all Lakers coaches face — how do I get through to Kobe Bryant?

Messina was at a coaching conference in Europe and said this according to

“The other day I was on the phone with the Lakers staff, asking advice on where I should get a house,” said Messina. “I was told some people prefer living close to the practice facilities; others, like Kobe, live further away. Sometimes, in order not to challenge the incredible L.A. traffic, Kobe even comes to practice by helicopter.

“At that point I thought: ‘This guy makes $25 million and comes to practice by helicopter – What am I supposed to say to him? “Down with that ass, bend your knees”?’”

Exactly. This is Kobe’s team and he will do what he wants. The more that intersects with what Brown and Messina want, the better.