HE’s back from a long injury layoff and eager to see action, but Kobe Bryant will be given limited minutes and can expect to be seated on the second of back-to-back games as the Lakers look to have the former MVP last the full season.
Coach Byron Scott says Bryant’s game will again be monitored, but this time the Lakers are expected to be tougher enforcing the time limits to preserve their superstar.
“I think the biggest decision is playing time, trying to make that as limited as possible and also back-to-back games. That’s something we have to talk about,” Scott told the Orange County Register.
“Other than that, there really is no other decision to make. He wants to play, and he wants to go out the way he wants to go out — if this is indeed his final year. He and I have talked a number of times on the phone, we’ve talked about playing time, we’ve talked about back-to-back,” he added.
The Lakers had announced the same plans last season, but Bryant, averaged about 34.5 minutes last season and managed to play just 35 games.
Now the Lakers are expected to be even more careful for their 37-year-old star.
“We’re going to probably sit down as we get closer to training camp or as we get in training camp and even talk more about it. Because the one thing I want, if this is his last year, I want him to go out standing. I don’t want him to go out hurt. I want to make sure I do everything in my power to make sure we stick to the game plan, as far as his minutes and as far as back-to-back games.
"We've got to stick to the guns," Scott said. "If we agree on a certain amount of time we're going to stick to it."