Report: Kobe Bryant backs Brian Shaw

Updated: April 9, 2011, 3:48 AM ET
ESPNLosAngeles.com

As Phil Jackson's repeated claims that he actually will retire after the season start to sink in, Kobe Bryant voiced his preference Friday for the successor to the Los Angeles Lakers' coach.

Bryant, saying that he was speaking for all of his teammates as well as himself, endorsed assistant coach Brian Shaw for the job, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

"I feel all of the players believe in coach B-Shaw," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Friday morning. "We have such a rapport with him. He's been with us for such a long time. We all have a bit of a bias towards him.

"I don't want to get in the way of management. But we've all kind of had our eye on him for a while."

Shaw and Bryant were teammates on the Lakers during their first three-peat from 2000 to 2002. Shaw retired in 2003 and served as a Lakers scout before joining Jackson's staff during the 2004-05 season.

"I'm not commenting on the next season or anything about replacing [Jackson] because it's out of my control," Shaw said, according to the report. "I'm concentrating on this season and winning it all again."