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Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant could have a future in broadcasting after he calls time on his career, according to SI writer Richard Deitsch.
Reports suggest that Charles Barkley could walk away from TNT when his current deal ends in 2016, and while it would be a shame to lose him, it would coincide with Bryant’s retirement.
While the Lakers star has made no indication as to what path he will follow when he hangs his sneakers up for good, Sports Illustrated media writer Deitsch has selected his perfect candidate to take over from Barkley if he decides to move on.
“There are certain traits shared by the best sports broadcasters: intelligence, passion, credibility and honesty. Personally, I like a bit of edge and distance from the establishment, too. Bryant possesses all of these. If you talk to NBA beat and national writers, Bryant has become one of the best interview subjects in the game. That he’s also an all-time great is a huge marketing bonus,” Deitsch wrote.
“If Bryant indicates he is serious about a broadcasting career after his NBA career ends, industry sources say he’d command $4 million to $5 million annually, if not more, because there would be a heavy competition for his services. ESPN (whose studio show is based in L.A.) and Turner are guaranteed to be interested.
“He’s obviously smart and articulate and he would be a great candidate,” said Turner Sports senior vice president and executive creative director Craig Barry. “But like any job there is a certain amount of passion that the person needs to have for the day to day. That element of passion and wanting to share the game is a huge part of being able to connect with the viewer. That’s a huge part of being a successful broadcaster and I think Kobe would be great at it. But he would have to want to do it.”
It is widely acknowledge that Bryant will likely opt to pursue his business ventures when he calls time on his playing career, and his straight-shooting and serious style would perhaps clash with the atmosphere that TNT create on “Inside the NBA”.
However, he would certainly be a strong addition to any broadcasting team given his knowledge and love for the game, and so there is hope that Barkley will continue in his current role while Bryant perhaps takes on a guest analyst role elsewhere.
Having struggled through this season with general body soreness and missing numerous games as a result, the 36-year-old may have to make a decision sooner than he had hoped…