"It's unfortunate because they got hit with so many injuries," Bryant said to ESPN's Mike Greenberg on Wednesday's episode of Get Up. "They were rolling, I think exceeding people's expectations. Then they got hit with these injuries, kind of set them back... it's hard to reboot that."
Greenberg then asks Bryant if he was able to give LeBron any advice what would he tell the newest face of the franchise.
"Oh, you just got to keep pushing," Bryant said bluntly. "Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it."
Bryant's comments come from a place of experience. In 2005, Kobe and the Lakers missed the playoffs for the first time in Bryant's career. After losing to the Pistons in the previous finals, the exiting of veteran players like Gary Payton and Karl Malone took chemistry that the Lakers never regained throughout the season. That combined with late-season injuries, key players such as Bryant and Lamar Odom painted a picture that mirrors this year's team. However, in 2006, the Lakers returned to the post-season. They then strung together three straight finals appearances stemming from 2008-2010, winning two more championships in the process.
Yet it should be noted that the organization's front office did make a coaching change after the 2005 season, hiring iconic play-caller Phil Jackson. This leads many to wonder what the moves the Lakers' President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson will make.
"I think it's a matter of being patient," Kobe said when asked what he'd advise Magic to do. "Obviously they'll make smart decisions. You have opportunities, pieces you can trade. Assets, things of that sort. Or you can stay with the young guys who are extremely talented and have great upside and let them develop. Either direction you go should be a good direction."