Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Should Be Resting During Lockout, Not Playing Overseas

When president of the NBA Players Association and Lakers guard Derek Fisher was cornered for questions at his basketball camp last Friday, only two topics mattered.

The first was, of course, the state of the lockout—a fairly obvious topic to discuss with the president of the players' union. And to give fans a quick update—no, basketball is not back. Not even close.

Then reporters turned to another topic—one that is on everyone's mind heading into next season.

The health of Kobe Bryant.

Plenty has been written about the wear and tear inflicted on Kobe's body from playing at an elite level for 15 NBA seasons. And when you look at them, the numbers are astounding.

He's played 1,103 career regular season games and 208 playoff games. Do the math and you get a combined total of 48,324 minutes played. Only Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen have posted more minutes during the regular season than Kobe. And that's not including Kobe's playoff minutes.

But these numbers only tell one side of the story. The other side is what we see in Kobe's play on the court, and what he can do to continue playing at this elite level in spite of the mileage he's endured.

His best solution? Some serious, protracted, regenerating rest.

All of last season, and even seasons before then, Kobe Bryant has been unable to consistently practice with the team—taking the time instead to heal up, tend to the laundry list of injuries he's accumulated over the years, and keep himself fresh for game time—when it really matters.

In fact, during his exit interview this season, Bryant said he was looking forward to rest this summer in anticipation for next year.

It wasn't clear to fans then that No. 24's idea of "rest" meant running a summer basketball camp in Los Angeles, hosting basketball clinics in Korea, touring China, playing exhibition ...

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