Kobe ‘The Mentor’ Challenges Jeremy

Kobe Bryant who had been honored 9 times as NBA All-Defensive Team – 1st Team and 2nd Team thrice had challenge Jeremy Lin to become from Good to Great Defensive Player!


“I’m really going to challenge him to be a great defensive player because he can,” Bryant said. “He has the speed, he has the length, he has the size, but he’s never had to take on that challenge, but I think he can be a great defensive player.” – Kobe

Not one, but two. Nash had also mentioned similar to Kobe is helping Lin.


“I’m here to help him out however I can,” Nash said. “If I can help give him advice or help with his game, then it will be a pleasure for me. I think he’s got a lot of potential, and he’s already kind of cemented himself in the league, so whatever he needs from me I’d love to help and I’d love to see him really succeed.”- Nash


The Challenge and the Reply


Jeremy speaks in detail as part of the Post Game interview how he had no mentor similar to Kobe in his 4 year NBA career. He says, its a blessing to have Kobe in the same lockerroom!


Post Game interview and taking on the Challenge



  1. @psalm234 not sure which category this should fall. Leave it to you to correct it 🙂

  2. I am so glad that Kobe is eager to teach Jeremy the intricacies of the game. Jeremy mentioned that Kobe is detailed in his advice. Beyond footwork, Kobe would even instruct details such as hand position and explain why and how that matters. It is very beneficial to have such a mentor: an expert, detailed, patient, generally a good teacher.

    Add: and we know that Lin is a good student. He will absorb the pearls of wisdom like a sponge.

  3. Totally! Those are dreams of millions….to have that come true for Jeremy, is such a blessing having mentored and playing beside Kobe and Nash.

    This would on make JL better. As for his contribution and for team to win, as desired by fans, we need to understand its gonna take time. Lakers at this point is no where close to ROX, in his first year (2013).

    Lakers as a team needs time to bring the team up to speed and fill the gaps either with existing or new players.

  4. This working relationship has the potential to be a strong validation of Jeremy Lin’s ability / potential. Going forward, it can be a source of strength and confidence for him.

  5. When I read those quotes from Both Kobe and Nash, I stopped eating for a whole 20 seconds to let it sink in.( Not the food, the thought…). What are the chances that after 2 years in the dog house, he comes to a team with one of the greatest play makers and great defenders, and they are both more than willing to share their craft with Lin who is just entering his prime. I felt a bit down that he did not have the chance to play with Jason Kidd, but where he is right now is ten times better. I am not ashamed to admit that I kinda choked up ( Not on the food…).

  6. Nice piece Maknusia.

  7. LOL…I thought you chocked…on missing Brent?!

  8. Totally agree, its a different avenue here for Jeremy…fresh air.

  9. Nice post!

  10. Now I’m choking…

  11. So far he he has to deal with fragile egos not willing to share the limelight with him. It is great of jeremy to have both nash and Kobe at the ends of their HOF careers ( 2 future HOFs!!!) willing to pass the knowledge Respect him. and most importantly not be threatened by him.

  12. All part of God’s plan 😉

  13. Meaning Jeremy will be a long time Laker. I hope.

  14. Some would call it coincidence but if we think of chance of being mentored by future HOF SG and PG in Kobe and Nash in their twilights years to soak up the knowledge, what are the odds?

    Not John Wall, not Dragic, not Westbrook, etc. but Jeremy Lin who was undrafted and bounced around without mentors until he finds a good place. I’ll call it a ‘divine intervention’!

    It’s akin to Jeremy went to the mountain to learn some secret kungfu moves from 2 masters :]

    Now you may chew your food slowly. Or find a mentor haha..

  15. It is a “confirmed” sign to me that JLin finds a “home.”

  16. Thanks for putting this together. I have read/saw both of these and not sure how to interpret the whole situation. Sure wonderful to see this happened, I was more bumped up to witness Kobe teaching/mentoring JLin on the side court during Game 2 than crying over the loss and the no so good team….

  17. From Nathan Gottlieb; talking about the ancillary benefits of Kobe mentoring Jeremy Lin:


  18. Hmm, is this something like slowly passing the “torch” to Jeremy? Well all he needs is biggie as to how Pau and Shaq was to Kobe or Duncan is to TP. Maybe Ed Davis can fill that role.

  19. Not sure how Kobe think, but I think he is smart enough to know Lin is very important for now.

  20. Great job creating the thread, @maknusia:disqus!
    I fixed the youtube link that had an error. We simply had to have the text without any HTML tag around it. You can go to text editing mode to see any unnecessary tags on broken links.
    Also, I modified the link to open in a new window by clicking on the link button on the toolbar.

    I should add this detail to @real_dsb:disqus FAQ page. And I probably need some screenshots.

  21. I think Kobe has respect for Lin’s talent and great work ethic. He also has taken a new role in mentoring young players such as Wes Johnson in the summer, Nick Young last season. But we’ll see if he continues to give more good words on Lin. Time will tell

  22. Only Kobe needs to know that Jeremy is not just an ordinary “mentee”. With Nash’s retirement coming near, having another guard with good leadership and basketball IQ will definitely help in getting that 17th trophy/6th ring.

  23. Not just important for the team but also for chasing that 17th trophy/6th ring.

  24. I believe he does know Lin can be special from the time Lin won the 1st duel in NY against him.
    Interesting that Kobe wanted Lin to be a great defender first but I can see why. It will help him and Lakers have more chance at that ring in 2-3 yrs

  25. Kevin Ding, one of the established writers that Bleacher Report brought in to shore up its reputation, wrote an article yesterday (Oct. 10) entitled : “Jeremy Lin Has Become Not Only Kobe Bryant’s Teammate, but His Pupil.”

    In the last 20 hours, it’s been accessed by more than 126,000 people. This says something about the level of impact that Kobe and the LA writers can have on perceptions of Jeremy.

  26. Great point! No doubt what Kobe said about Lin’s potential to be great defender will influence media and general fans.

    When people want to dismiss Lin D, they have to be ready to dismiss Kobe’s statement. And Kobe is not the type to be easily impressed

  27. This is a great sign of the things we all had hoped for lin. To finally find owners who want him, GM who believes in him, coaches who will work with him and 2 NBA greats mentoring him is nothing short of divine intervention.

    After 2 years wandering the hinterlands of disrespect, lin has found himself, by the sheer strength of his own self determination and hard work, a chance to go on the offensive. So many people wish for lin to be a diva and demand what he is due. Unfortunately that’s not how the narrative began. The media can and will shape your image in whatever way they wish by “liking” or “NOT LIKING” someone. Even if Lin was a 50% athlete, he still can be viewed in the negative where as John Wall would be viewed as POTENTIAL.

    The battle for Lin’s reputaion is a major concern for most of the young fans and it embroils us into heated arguments. Reputation is not an easy thing to repare if mass media decides to fight you. This is where the Lakers family can finally make a stand for Lin. So many people want lin to step up and push aside NASH and Kobe and demand his pt. iMO, losing a small battle of waiting for the right time to step in will finally put to rest the endless negative narrative on lin.


  28. Nothing is confirmed in the world of business, but I’m optimistic as well 🙂

  29. Thanks for the fix.

  30. Yeah….nice to see more positive feed from this writers. One thing that shines in Jeremy is they way he answers question. Answering spontaneous question during interview with appropriate word and sense is really difficult, unless one is really sincere in his saying. Jeremy is!

    Here is another article from Mark Medina

    The workload for Jeremy Lin seems as heavy as any advanced course he took at Harvard.

    His first assignment entails Lin pushing to thrive defensively so the
    Lakers can significantly improve a problem that has plagued them in
    recent seasons. Lin’s professor involves Kobe Bryant, the Lakers’ star
    who has said he continuously pushes Lin into becoming that elite
    defensive stopper. Lin’s grade remains far from certain, the Lakers’
    120-105 preseason loss on Thursday to the Golden State Warriors at
    Staples Center revealing their defensive issues are far more complex
    than simply blaming former coach Mike D’Antoni.

    “Jeremy’s biggest challenge, which he loves, is I’m really going to
    challenge him to be a great defensive player because he can,” Bryant
    said. “He has the speed. He has the length. He has the size. But he’s
    never had to take on that challenge to be a great defensive player.”

    Lin faced a pretty hefty challenge against the Warriors, having the
    thankless task in guarding Golden State sharpshooter Stephen Curry and
    feeling left helpless after he posted 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting,
    including 3 of 4 from three-point range. Plenty of other problems faced
    the Lakers on defense beyond Lin’s difficult responsibility on Curry.
    The Warriors converted on 22 second-chance points. Lakers coach Byron
    Scott argued, “they worked harder than we did.” Even Lin’s mentor,
    Bryant, did little in stopping Klay Thompson from dropping 25 points on a
    9-of-13 clip.

    “It starts with me at the top and being aggressive and not letting
    the ball flow to the wings,” Lin said. “I have to be at the top of the
    key and not letting guys get comfortable and get in a rhythm.”

    It sounds like this marks one of many tips Bryant has passed along to Lin.

    “That’s pretty much all I talk to him about on the court,” Lin said.
    “He’s pushing me and demanding a lot from me. He’s definitely taking a
    mentorship role with me on the court. That’s something I don’t think
    I’ve had in my previous four years in the league. It’s nice to have
    somebody pushing me, helping me and teaching me the tricks. It’s also
    nice when he’s one of the best to ever do it, even on the defensive end.

    Yet, Lin’s responsibility goes beyond thriving on defense.

    Scott threw Lin into the starting lineup against Golden State after
    unexpectedly resting Steve Nash to conserve his 40-year-old body. Though
    he never had practiced with the starters, Lin still finished with 14
    points on 4-of-4 shooting. Lin technically may have become the Lakers’
    starting point guard. But Bryant handled most point-guard duties.

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