Kobe Bryant’s Role, Minutes Won’t Be Reduced, Says Lakers HC Byron Scott

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott insisted that Kobe Bryant's role on the team wouldn't change despite his tough start to the season that included a 1-of-14 performance from the field against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.   

"I haven't thought about reducing his role," Scott said Wednesday, per Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. "I think his role is pretty defined for us right now. So is his minutes."

Bryant, 37, is averaging 15.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 30.5 minutes per game, though he is shooting a career-worst 31.1 percent from the field and a dreadful 19.5 percent from beyond the arc. Scott said he was continuing to work with the future Hall of Famer and wasn't worried about Bryant, who he expected to rediscover his shot as the year went on.

"I know his mentality is that he still feels that he can still play in this league, and we feel the same way," the coach added.

Still, there is the concern that with Bryant playing the second most minutes on the team behind Jordan Clarkson and taking the most shots per game, he might be stifling the development of No. 2 overall pick D'Angelo Russell. 

Charles Barkley of Turner Sports, for one, felt Bryant should retire after the year.

"Oh, yeah, this definitely should be it," Barkley told Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. "To me, this is like a farewell tour. Just go and play 25 minutes a night and let the NBA fans say, 'Thank you for an amazing career.' "

The Lakers might agree, considering Bryant represents a huge cap hit. And with the Lakers already 2-12 and headed for another lottery pick, handing the reins over to the next generation of players like Russell, Clarkson and Julius Randle seems wise. 

Time is not on Bryant's side, after all.

"He's one of the few players in NBA history to have gotten everything possible out of his body," ...

About the Author