With Kobe Bryant’s 20th NBA season potentially being his last with the Los Angeles Lakers, the superstar is hoping to play all 82 games throughout the 2015-16 NBA campaign. Bryant told head coach Byron Scott that he intends to play every game, but Scott thinks that might not be possible.
Although Bryant is seemingly healthy up to this point, the 37-year-old being able to stay healthy throughout the year may be a stretch. Kobe suffered three consecutive season-ending injuries before heading into his potential farewell tour with the veteran guard expected to sit out the second game of back-to-back situations.
The Lakers will have their first back-to-back situation of the season this week playing against the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic in consecutive nights. Coach Scott says he’ll rely on Bryant to tell him how his body is holding up in order to determine whether he plays in the second game of a back-to-back, via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell.
Scott said he’s going to “rely on (Kobe) to tell me how he feels body wise, energy wise” after Tuesday’s game w/t B2B coming on Wed.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 9, 2015
Scott admits he may want Kobe to sit some games this year in order to get the veteran through his 20th season, via Trudell.
Scott respects Bryant’s desire to play all 82, but said it might be necessary for Kobe to miss some games to get through the year. — Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 9, 2015
Bryant is currently playing 29.2 minutes per contest while averaging 16.5 points per game. Kobe is playing reduced minutes in comparison to years past, but has struggled with the transition. Bryant claims to be stiff coming off the bench after sitting for extended periods of time.
The Lakers will continue their road trip on Tuesday night facing the Heat at America Airlines Arena. Kobe and company will then travel to Amway Arena to take on the Magic the following night.
The team’s first major road trip will come to an end after Friday’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers will then head back home to host the Detroit Pistons at the Staples Center on Sunday in Los Angeles.