Byron Scott’s Kobe Bryant Plan Leaving Los Angeles Lakers in Dangerous Position

LOS ANGELES — Here’s one thing Byron Scott has accomplished.

He has left no question about it, and it’s good to know: Kobe Bryant no longer can do everything and be everything for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Chalk it up to Bryant’s career mileage, sure, but consider this, too: Bryant never really had a chance to show if he still had it.

That might sound crazy considering Bryant’s league-high 35.8 usage percentage (Russell Westbrook’s is higher, but he has barely played half of Oklahoma City’s games) and 37.2 shooting percentage.

Because of how his coach over-trusted and overused him, Bryant never got to ramp himself up for all to see what would’ve been his peak performance—and therefore the Lakers’ peak performance.

By building a team that was all about Bryant, asking him to do more than he was ready for, and casting him in the role of leading man based on past history instead of current reality, Scott guaranteed that Bryant would falter.

So the Lakers played at Staples Center on Tuesday night, and Bryant didn’t. Like an old uncle too tired to leave the house, Bryant stayed home, no helicopter powerful enough to lift those weary bones up.

Bryant has been so bad and slow recently that even Scott’s blind spot couldn’t miss it.

Scott said he will consider resting Bryant for more games—in addition to cutting back on his 35.4 minutes per game as “the next step.” After separate consultations with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and trainer Gary Vitti, Scott decided to give Bryant this break. The goal, Scott said, is not to "wear him completely out."

When Scott told Bryant about perhaps sitting him out, Bryant’s reply to Scott was: “Whatever you want to do.”

That’s a veritable cry for help from a control f...

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