Kobe Bryant has never been afraid to speak his mind on a topic, nor has he ever been overly concerned with making sure people like him. And while Bryant had his share of controversies both on and off the court, he’s now retired, and people have been more than willing to remember only the positives, and a generation of athletes have taken the #mambamentality to heart.

Bryant is also not scared to share his political views, as we learned this week when he was a guest on the Awards Chatter podcast, from The Hollywood Reporter.


Appearing on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast on Wednesday, the retired Los Angeles Lakers star was asked what he would do during the anthem if he were still in the league and had a game tonight.

“Kneel,” Bryant said during a rapid-fire question-and-answer portion of the podcast.

Bryant was then asked what he would say if he could speak directly to President Donald Trump right now.

“Focus on serving, not leading,” Bryant said.

The Lakers recently met as a team to discuss what they wanted to do during the anthem. Players decided to lock arms, which they and the coaches have done during the anthem for their first three preseason games.

That’s a bit different than the political stances Bryant was willing to take as an active player, like when he offered an odd spin on the protests fellow players made in support of Trayvon Martin.

But, hey, it’s a different time, and Bryant is clearly capable of evolution. Off the court, anyway.


About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.