Byron Scott Rumors
In an effort to help preserve Kobe Bryant in what could his final NBA campaign, Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said the 37-year-old Bryant will have a hard minutes cap this season, a move that both parties hope will help Bryant avoid injury after having his past three seasons cut short by it. “We’ve got to stick to the guns,” Scott told the Orange County Register of the cap. “If we agree on a certain amount of time we’re going to stick to it.”
While it’s unclear what Bryant’s minutes limit might be this season, it’s expected that it will be less than the 34.5 minutes he averaged last season, including playing more than 40 minutes on four occasions. It’s also unclear whether Bryant will sit out certain games of back-to-back sets. “I know Kobe’s a competitor and he’s going to play as many minutes as you want him to play,” Scott told the Register. “I’m also a competitor, so I want to win and I know having him on the court gives me the best opportunity to win.”
What decisions are you facing with Kobe? Byron Scott: I think the biggest decision is playing time, trying to make that as limited as possible and also back-to-back games. That’s something we have to talk about. Other than that, there really is no other decision to make. He wants to play, and he wants to go out the way he wants to go out — if this is indeed his final year. He and I have talked a number of times on the phone, we’ve talked about playing time, we’ve talked about back-to-back, we’re going to probably sit down as we get closer to training camp or as we get in training camp and even talk more about it. Because the one thing I want, if this is his last year, I want him to go out standing. I don’t want him to go out hurt. I want to make sure I do everything in my power to make sure we stick to the game plan, as far as his minutes and as far as back-to-back games. Q. What do you mean by as “limited as possible?” Byron Scott: I didn’t mean play as limited as possible. Obviously we want to keep him as efficient as possible, but I know he knows his body better than anybody. When we start talking about those minutes, I want to listen to him more than anything. I’m not going to go by what I think he can play like I did last year, I want to really go by what he thinks he can play. Then I want to make sure we stick to that.
What’s the latest on his rehab? Does he have full range of motion yet? Byron Scott: Full range of motion. He’s been shooting for the past three weeks, he says he feels fantastic, our last conversation was more of how he felt and he said he feels great. We also talked about everybody saying he wouldn’t be ready for training camp, he wouldn’t ready until November. Stuff like that. He used a couple of words that I can’t repeat that tells me that he will be ready for training camp and we’ll go from there.