NBA

Kobe Bryant challenges Lakers newcomer Jeremy Lin to adapt his game

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Kobe Bryant has today thrown down the gauntlet to Los Angeles Lakers newcomer Jeremy Lin, challenging the former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets man to improve in one particular facet of his game ahead of the upcoming 2014-15 NBA season.

Kobe's reputation proceeds him the NBA, he has never been one to accept anything but the best from either himself or his fellow teammates, and while Lin may have only been on the Lakers roster alongside Bryant for a matter of weeks the veteran's eagle-eyed observations cannot come as a surprise.

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Challenging times

So what exactly has Kobe Bryant got in mind for the point guard?

Well according to the Black Mamba, Jeremy Lin has all the qualities required to become a great defensive player in the NBA.

"I'm really going to challenge him to be a great defensive player, because he can," Kobe revealed after the Lakers' second pre-season game against the Golden State Warriors Thursday night.

"He has the speed. He has the length, he has the size. He's never had to take on that challenge, but I think he can be a great defensive player."

With Lin and Kobe having lined up together for the first time as Lakers against Golden State it looks like it hasn't taken long for Kobe to identify an area for improvement in his new teammate.

Despite the 120-105 reverse agains the Warriors Thursday, Kobe spoke positively about Lin's ability to force opponents such as Steph Curry into making incredible plays rather than simply allowing easy shots and he clearly has his eye on further work for the 6 ft 1 California native.

Lin learning

Jeremy Lin, who shot 14 points in his first Lakers star, isn't shirking the challenge laid down from Kobe either, speaking of his excitement at having one of the game's best as a mentor figure.

"He's definitely taking on a mentorship role for me on the court, and that's something that I don't think I've had in my previous four years in the league. 

"It's just nice to have somebody who is pushing me and 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."

With Kobe nearing the end of his career, and fellow veteran Steve Nash unable to be relied upon to feature ever game Jeremy Lin will certainly have to invest in his back court game to help the Lakers make a go of it in a tough Western Conference.

Topics:
NBA
LA Lakers
Jeremy Lin
Kobe Bryant

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