After averaging over 35 minutes through 27 games for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant has rested five of the last 10 games. With Kobe having difficulties recovering from games, there has been discussion if the Lakers should shut him down for the rest of the season.
While Kobe will be a game-time decision against the Miami Heat, head coach Byron Scott says he has sat down with Kobe and general manager Mitch Kupchak on how to ‘preserve’ his superstar for the next 1.5 seasons. In addition, Scott says there has been no talk of shutting Kobe down for the rest of this season via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
Byron has sat down with Kupchak + Kobe to figure out how to "preserve" Kobe over the next year and a half. No talk of shutting him down.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 13, 2015
After playing Kobe major minutes in the first quarter of the season, Scott recently admitted he ‘messed up’ managing the superstar’s minutes. Since then, Scott has decided to rest Kobe on back-to-back situations and limiting him to 32 minutes per game.
With the Lakers near the bottom of the standings, there has been discussion if the Lakers should shut Kobe down and have him prepare for next season. Depending on where the Lakers end up in the standings, the franchise could potentially have a top-five pick in this year’s NBA Draft along with approximately $30 million in cap space.[divide]
Los Angeles Lakers 11th Annual All-Access Event