The Los Angeles Lakers have been very careful with the workload they have given Kobe Bryant in training camp this season.
Entering his 20th season, the Lakers want Kobe to be able to last the entire season. He’s also coming off a torn rotator cuff suffered last season.
Kobe put to rest any questions about whether he would suit up for the team’s preseason opener on Sunday, however, saying he is definitely playing according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
Kobe: "Definitely playing" Sunday.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) October 3, 2015
Kobe will obviously be in the starting lineup, but who will join him is still a question mark as head coach Byron Scott has yet to decide on a lineup according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Byron Scott said he hasn't decided fully on a starting line up for the game tomorrow.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 3, 2015
Scott has reportedly favored a lineup featuring Kobe at the small forward position with the young trio of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle surrounding him, and veteran Roy Hibbert manning the center position. That would seem to be the most likely lineup assuming everyone plays on Sunday.
Kobe switching full-time to the small forward spot has been going well in camp as he is enjoying the fact that he doesn’t have to handle the ball nearly as much as usual. He has also been very complimentary of Russell, while both Randle and Clarkson have impressed in camp so far. There will be a lot of eyes on the Lakers Sunday as fans get their first look of this season’s team.