Kobe Bryant Will Be Byron Scott’s Biggest Test as Los Angeles Lakers Coach

Byron Scott will face many challenges in his first season as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, but his biggest—by far—will be the delicate task of managing Kobe Bryant's workload.

Scott doesn't yet have a formal plan in place for the 36-year-old guard's playing time in the upcoming season, but he revealed a basic idea that just screams "trouble ahead" to A. Martinez of KPCC in Los Angeles:

Yeah, Kobe’s his own man. We know how hard he works, we know how driven he is. But I think he’s at the point too where he’s so much more mature, and he understands that he only has a few more miles left on that body, you know, maybe two, maybe three years. And I think he’s probably more acceptable to accept the fact that you can’t practice every day. There might be some games where you can’t play this game or that game.

That's the smart thing for Scott to say at this juncture. The logic behind resting a 17-year veteran coming off two significant injuries is sound in a vacuum.

But there are a couple of major problems with Scott's thinking.


The Indomitable Will of the Mamba

First, for it to work, Scott will need a version of Bryant that has not previously existed.

So much of Bryant's greatness stems from his uncompromising attitude. He expects to do the impossible because, for a good chunk of his career, he pretty much did it.

Bryant has built (and earned) a voice so powerful that it drowns out just about everyone else's, including that of the coach. Both Mike Brown and Mike D'Antoni had plans to limit Bryant's playing time, and neither could implement a plan against the superstar's wishes, per Mark Medina of InsideSoCal.com:

Both former coaches Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni talked in recent seasons about needing to limit Bryant’s minutes both to ensure his long-term hea...

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