Lakers head coach Byron Scott said that he wants star guard Kobe Bryant to play after his contract expires at the end of next season.
Bryant has said he planned on calling it quits after the 2015-16 season, when his two-year, $48.5 million deal comes off the books.
"We'll talk about that," Scott said, according to USA Today. "Listen, you guys have watched him play. He's got a lot left in the tank. And I think if we put something together that excites him, I think we have a real good chance of saying, 'Play another year, give it another shot.' And that's what we plan to do."
Bryant is averaging 26 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game this season. He is shooting 39 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free-throw line, well off of his career averages.
Bryant admitted he was tired after the Lakers' victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday after playing 33 minutes. Scott said he doesn’t care if Bryant practices, only needs to know what the team is doing “coverage-wise.”
"The biggest question going into the season was, 'Can he still play at a high level?' " Scott said. "That question has been answered, big time."
The Lakers (5-14) have the second worst record in the Western Conference. They take on the Boston Celtics (5-11) on Friday to conclude a three-game road trip.
- Scooby Axson