Kobe Bryant thinks the Lakers need to get younger

Kobe Bryant wants the Lakers to get younger.   (USATSI)
Kobe Bryant wants the Lakers to get younger. (USATSI)

The idea was pretty sound, based on a tried-and-true NBA concept. Veteran teams win titles. There's a reason Chris Paul wants Kevin Garnett, why LeBron James wanted Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, why the Knicks' bench was basically middle-aged. Veteran experience is a proven asset in big playoff games. 

But there's a cost, and sometimes that's energy, effort and ability. The Lakers found that out the hard way this season when a litany of injuries to their star players left them relying on a bench that was old and ineffective. In an interview with ESPN Brazil, transcribed by the LA Times, Kobe Bryant said the team needs to get younger. 

"It's a big summer for us. We don't know what direction we're going yet but one thing I know about the Laker organization is that they're very committed to making sure that we have a team that's on the floor that's a competitive team to win a championship," said Bryant. "Which direction that's going to be, whether it's with Dwight or not? I don't know. We'll just have to see."

If Howard returns and with the addition of some youth, length and defensive ability on the perimeter, Bryant is confident the Lakers can compete next year.

"We need a couple of younger legs, long guys that can defend and can cover the floor on the perimeter," he said. "If we do that, I think we'll be all right."

via Kobe Bryant turns to David Beckham for advice on Achilles injury - latimes.com.

Well, I mean, they had Earl Clark, who played surprisingly well. And Jodie Mee ... yeah, no, it was terrible. 

But the Lakers don't have a first-round draft pick, sent to Cleveland via trade. They don't have any cap room on account of the ZOMG-superstar approach, including Bryant's $30 million. How exactly are they going to get younger? The idea is "the Lakers just seem to." But there must be a point where reality gets tougher. This might be it. Still, it's interesting to see a veteran guy like Bryant talk about needing to get younger. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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