Kobe Bryant, Lakers coach Byron Scott will discuss minutes, workload

first_imgThere aren’t easy answers. Imagine how the NBA will feel if Bryant rests when the Lakers play Christmas Day against the Chicago Bulls in a nationally televised game.Imagine how Lakers fans might feel if Bryant misses any games at Staples Center.“At home, it impacts my decision because he knows how he wants to play in front of the fans,” Scott said. “I know how much the fans would love to see him.”Yet, Scott stressed his decision will address a more important variable.“I have to look out for Kobe to make sure I make it through this season without killing him,” Scott said of Bryant. “There might be some decisions I make that he won’t be real happy with. I’ll have to live with that.”Scott had talked leading up to training camp about conserving the 36-year-old Bryant after he played only six games last season amid injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. But Bryant’s workload still seems heavy.In recent weeks, Bryant has taken over point-guard duties because of inconsistent play from Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price. After skipping practices and morning shootarounds, Bryant has participated in recent practices in hopes of helping team chemistry.Meanwhile, Bryant has averaged 24.6 points per game on a career-low 37.2 percent from the field.“That’s probably the hardest part, to take that workload off of him. From a mental standpoint when the game is going, he feels like he can get it done,” Scott said. “The most part he can, but when you’re playing four games in six nights, your body is saying you can’t.”Scott has mostly defended Bryant’s high-volume shooting by citing his past success, his aggressiveness and his teammates’ inconsistency. Despite Bryant’s high-volume shooting against Sacramento, Scott argued that Bryant’s nine turnovers showed he still tried to facilitate.On Monday, Scott pinned the fault on Bryant and his teammates.“He thinks his teammates are not getting it done. I told him, ‘I think at times you have to let them fail, just like you’re going to let them succeed. You have to give them a chance,’” Scott said. “We talk after games where he apologizes. But his will and desire to win is so great that he forgets about everything else.”As for Bryant’s teammates?“Be a little bit more aggressive,” Scott said. “If you sit back and allow him and say, ‘Here, Kobe. Here is the ball,’ he’s not going to have that faith in those guys. Say, ‘When you’re double-teamed, throw it to me. I got it.’ That confidence goes a long way.”Yet, Scott hardly sounded confident about his own plan that will entail maximizing Bryant’s talent without overburdening his body.“All of this is new to both of us,” Scott said. “There’s a lot of things we need to talk about in the next day or so.” Lakers coach Byron Scott spent one hour on the team plane thinking about it. He spent some time with Kobe Bryant talking about it. And Scott spent all night sleeping on it.Yet, Scott has not outlined a clear solution on how he will manage Bryant’s playing time and workload amid his recent struggles with fatigue and shooting accuracy.Even more pressing: Will Scott actually sit Bryant out for a game?“It is difficult because I want him out there. I know how much he wants to be out there as well,” Scott said Monday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “But he’s in agreement with however I want to do with him.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Scott said he remains undecided whether Bryant will play when the Lakers (8-19) host the Golden State Warriors (22-3) on Tuesday at Staples Center. After giving Bryant the day off from Monday’s practice, Scott said he plans to have more conversations with him.Scott also insisted he will have veto power over Bryant and joked he would ask Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak to intervene if necessary.“We’ll formulate a plan that suits him so when he is on the court, he can go out and play at full strength,” Scott said. “He’s such a competitor that he tries to will his way through it no matter how his body feels. I want him to get to the point where his body feels a lot better than it does right now.”Bryant posted 25 points on 8-of-30 shooting and nine turnovers in 38 minutes in Sunday’s loss against Sacramento, marking a five-game stretch where he has shot 29.2 percent from the field. Bryant did not speak to reporters Monday, but he sounded amenable toward resting. Yet, what that plan entails appears open ended.Although Bryant has averaged 35.5 minutes per game, Scott suggested the Lakers star will no longer surpass 38 minutes. Scott also might sit Bryant on the second night of back-to-backs, such as when the Lakers visit Dallas on Friday.last_img read more