Lakers Rumors: Reducing Kobe Bryant’s Minutes Perfect Way to Preserve Aging Body

Armed with the league's heaviest artillery of top-tier stars, the Los Angeles Lakers will walk into the 2012-13 season with the NBA's biggest target and a "championship or bust" mentality. 

For Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, this is nothing new. At this point in his career, he is no longer judged by the merits of his individual stat-line, but by how many rings are on his finger.

Nonetheless, after two straight seasons ripe with questionable surrounding talent, the influx big-named players and depth should give Bryant his best roster in recent memory. 

While the ultimate goal of surrounding Bryant with players like Dwight Howard and Steve Nash is to win a championship, it has an equally beneficial side effect of taking some pressure off the 34-year-old star. 

One way, at least according to reporter Mike Trudell, Lakers head coach Mike Brown plans to relive some of Bryant's pressure is by playing him fewer minutes this season. 

Mike Brown definitely wants to reduce Kobe's minutes this year. Acknowledges they were too high last year, feels team is now deeper.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 2, 2012 Brown faces the untenable position of anything less than championship glory being an abject failure. By resting Bryant when possible, the Lakers coach is doing both the best thing for his player and the team in the long term. 

In 2011-12, hindered with the franchise's shallowest roster in recent memory, Brown rode his starters hard during the cramped 66-game schedule.

Bryant and Pau Gasol both played more than 37 minutes per night while, along with departed center Andrew Bynum, carrying a motley crew of supporting characters.

While that strategy worked in the regular season, all three stars seemed fatigued by the time June rolled around.

Fortunately for Brown, he is not facing a similar situation this season. Wit...

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