Kenny Smith's dream may actually come true ... 'cause "Inside the NBA" has reached out to Kobe Bryant to see if he wants a job, TMZ Sports has learned.
Both Kenny and Shaq have publicly talked about wanting Kobe to join the panel on the TNT show after he retired from the NBA ... and now, our sources tell us the courting has officially begun.
It's unclear if producers are trying to lock Kobe up to join the guys for the current NBA playoffs ... or if they're looking more toward getting him as a regular for next season.
As one well-placed source connected to the show put it ... "We'd love to have Kobe."
Our sources say Kobe is still evaluating all of his post-NBA options and hasn't made a decision about what he wants to do ... but ya gotta believe he's taking this offer seriously.
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