Since his retirement at the end of the 2015-16 season, Kobe Bryant has been a prominent ambassador for the Los Angeles Lakers. He's still devoted to the only team he played for in his professional career.
Unfortunately, the Lakers haven't made the playoffs since 2013 and are a dysfunctional mess right now. That doesn't mean Kobe isn't trying to drag his old team from the abyss, even if it entails recruiting prospective free agents.
According to Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, Bryant has been "recruiting" point guard Kyrie Irving to Los Angeles. Irving will be one of the top free agents on the market this summer, and recent reports indicating his rift with LeBron James is healing have ignited speculation that the pair could reunite with the Lakers.
For what it's worth, Bucher told FS1's Colin Cowherd he expects Kyrie to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
Irving is a Brooklyn native and has reportedly bought a new home in North Jersey.
Looking ahead to the summer, Kyrie might be the most likely big-name free agent for the Lakers to land. They had better hope Kobe's sales pitch works.
Otherwise, the possibility of another year added to the playoff drought could become reality.