Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said that even though he is capping Kobe Bryant's minutes and not allowing him to play in any back-to-back games, there is no thought to possibly shut down the 36-year-old, 16-time All-Star.
Bryant, who came back from a two-game absence from resting his ailing body on Tuesday, shot 3-for-19 in 31 minutes of a 78-75 loss to the Miami Heat.
"This is going to be game by game," Scott said to the Los Angeles Times. “And I think it's going to be that way until the end of the season or until March or February if we ever decide to say, 'OK, let's just shut it down for the rest of the season.' We haven't got nowhere near that point at this particular time."
The Lakers have eight more back-to-backs in the regular season, and Scott said the days of Bryant playing every night and 40 minutes a game are gone.
"I'm just trying to work through it and get the body moving. The hard part is sitting down for stretches and trying to get back in. You feel like the Tin Man," said Bryant, who scored 12 points against the Heat.
The Lakers (12-27) have the Western Conference’s second-worst record, and Bryant is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 22.7 points a game on 37 percent shooting. He is also averaging 5.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.
- Scooby Axson