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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lakers Injury Update: Kobe Bryant to be on minute restriction

By on 9/21/2014 04:24:00 PM

NBA superstar Kobe Bryant has logged 18 seasons and made 15 playoff appearances through his storied career with the Los Angeles Lakers. After logging only six games last season before succumbing to injury, Bryant will start the 2014-15 season with restrictions in his playing time. In an interview with the Byron Scott, the Lakers new head coach, Southern California Public Radio 89.3 KPCC's A Martinez brought up a scenario:

Say there’s a game on the East Coast, went into double-overtime, and Kobe played a lot of those minutes. And then you’ve got a game the very next night. You notice that maybe he’s not moving around so good, is it going to be easy for you to tell Kobe Bryant, ‘We’re going to have to limit your minutes tonight. Maybe you take a night off?’  
Yeah it’s going to be easy, but it’s going to be hard to probably have that happen! [Laughs] But again, he’s so competitive, he wants to win, and I do too. But I don’t want to win at the expense of having my one of my guys get hurt. And sometimes, like I said, we’re going to sit down, me and my trainer have already sat down, already started talking about the amount of minutes Kobe should probably play, going into this season.  And I have to stand fast on that. I have to make sure that when he’s up to those minutes, that’s it, no matter what the game situation is, as much as I want to win, as much as he wants to win, I’m not going to sacrifice his health to try to win games. 
How’s that moment going to be like, though? Because Kobe has this intimidation thing happening for him. You’ve known him since he was a kid, but he’s a guy that’s won five titles, he’s considered one of the greatest of all time...How do you ‘stand fast,’ as you say?  
Well, first thing, I ain’t never been intimidated by anybody, so that won’t be a problem. But he’ll have to know from me, and I’ll tell him afterwards, when I say, ‘No, you can’t go in,’ I love him as a person, I love him as a player, and again I’m not going to sacrifice his body just to try to win a game.
The ex-player-turned-coach thinks his aging superstar Bryant can average over 20 points per game while on a minute restriction plan. In an interview with Mark Medina of Inside Social, Scott further explained Bryant's comeback.
I see a guy who's going to average 20 something points a game, will have a great year and have a lot of people eating crow. I'm glad people are saying [otherwise]. Keep adding it. It motivates him that much more. It makes my job easier  
The 14-time All-Star has averaged 25.5 points, 4.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds per game throughout his career with the Lakers.

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