Byron Scott On Kobe Bryant: ‘I Got To Put The Minutes Back Down’

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has faced quite a challenge this season dealing with how to use superstar Kobe Bryant. The face of the franchise is playing in his 20th season coming off three consecutive season-ending injuries and clearly isn’t the dominant player of old.

During the first few weeks of the 2015-16 NBA season, Bryant has struggled in more ways that one. Kobe has yet to get into a rhythm in order to play efficiently on a nightly basis while also dealing with his 37-year-old body breaking down.

Coach Scott has done his best to limit Bryant’s minutes throughout the season in an attempt to preserve the veteran for the long haul. Although Scott has made an effort to play Bryant around 31 minutes per game, Kobe has already played 35 minutes or more twice this season and knows that’ll take a toll on the future Hall of Famer via Shahan Ahmed of NBC Los Angeles:

I really got to fight myself on that. I don’t want to get to the point where now we have 70 games left in the season and with 20 games left, he’s worn out—that I’ve basically worn him out.”

Coach Scott admits that if Kobe is to play efficiency over the next two games, his minutes will need to be pulled back, via Ahmed:

Talking about tonight and talking about Tuesday, if you want him to be able to play both games and be effective, I got to put the minutes back down.”

Although Scott has received a lot of criticism this season for his tactics, the former NBA Coach of the Year is in an incredibly tough position. Not only are the Lakers currently in rebuilding mode with three young players in the starting lineup every night, but he wants Bryant to be able to finish his potential final season on his feet rather than having it end prematurely due to another injury.

Kobe has already had a leg issue this year and is dealing with a sore back to go along with aching knees. The perennial All-Star’s body just isn’t what it used to be, and it remains to be seen whether it’ll hold up regardless of a minutes limitation.

Whatever…this guy says one thing today and then does the opposite the next day.

  • should have just played him below 30 minutes against portland, looking forward to less than 30minutes in each game(gsw and ind)

  • Honestly, if Kobe is unable to play 30+mpg with any reasonable expectations of efficiency and durability then he should not be playing at all. Which is more on Kobe than Byron.

  • I would guess that Kobe takes MORE shots then any other NBA player today. I would also guess he isses moreof those shots then any other player in the NBA. NOW LAKER’S, PLEASE allow him to retire like the GREAT PLAYER he was, not like a broken down crippled who can n o longer hit a shot…………..By the way, Byron needs to retire as well & so should Mitch & Buss.

  • The day Byron Scott makes Kobe comes off the bench, will be the first day ever he coaches the Lakers. Ahhhh, what the fk am I thinking!

  • Whats wrong with Kobe coming off the bench? Byron… I’ve been say that for the last three years. Kobe can’t even stay with his own man on defense when the ball is on the opposite side of the court. Kobe’s leaking out half the time and not help rebounding on defense. Coach all the players Byron and maybe you’ll make it pass the all-star break.

  • Yea KOBE PUT THE BALL DOWN 6/22 SHOOTING & 0/5 3s its pretty hard to be less then that-he preaches ball movement until it comes to him, then it stops. Who or what is kobe playing for,it gets worst every game.

  • How dumb. Adamant one day that he’s not playing him too much, then the next day, saying maybe he’s playing him too much…

  • I foresee Kobe trying to one-up Curry all game, turning it into some personal, individual ‘I still got it’ gimmick. The rest of the team won’t even be on his mind as he jacks ’em up thinking it’s 2009. When Kobe’s ego is bruised that is when he is at his most selfish. I don’t like to see the Lakers lose any game, but I really hope they lose this game so badly that the softball journalists will have no option but to call Kobe and Byron what they really are. Living in the past, no hope for the future.

  • I can totally see that happening. I like that this is going to be a nationally televised game. That way, the Lakers get called out by non-biased game announcers and analysts who aren’t on Lakers payroll, and it won’t be sugarcoated like the home guys tend to do sometimes. On TNT, they’re gonna get clowned by Barkley and Smith… and they deserve it. Shaq will be straight forward about them, too.

  • Scott’s coaching ineptness is on display in the simplest form; and that is limiting minutes for his aging star player.

    How difficult is it to stick to a simple plan BS?

  • Not to mention he is shooting 33% from the field (20% 3 pt range), the best reason of all to minimize his minutes. KB is untouchable until TWC decides he is detrimental to the TV contract….almost there now.

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