Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak: Kobe Bryant’s minute limitations undecided
Bryant, who will begin his 20th NBA season in October, is returning from a right shoulder injury that caused him to miss the majority of last season.
Kupchak and Lakers head coach Byron Scott are waiting to see how the 37-year-old responds to live action in training camp to determine his workload for the beginning of the season.
“It’s important for us to keep that in mind and see how he progresses and how he responds to training camp,” Kupchak said Thursday. “I would imagine he would not practice twice a day every day. He’s earned the right to really progress in training camp at a certain pace that works for him and works for us.”
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, has only played 41 games over the past three seasons because of injuries to his left Achilles tendon, left knee and most recently, his right shoulder.
Despite Bryant’s recent injury derailments, Kupchak added that he has faith in the former MVP’s training and preparation, and that he believes Bryant will be ready to produce this season.
“He looks great,” Kupchak said. “He assured me he’s working out every day. Over the years, we’ve gotten to the point where he takes care of himself and when he comes to camp, he’ll be ready. But as far as what level of play and how many minutes and how will he play on the team remains to be seen.”
Bryant is set to earn $25 million in what could be his final NBA season.
The Lakers open the 2015–16 campaign on Oct. 28 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Kayla Lombardo