It appears Kobe Bryant and Lakers coach Byron Scott have accomplished something critical that further suggests their close relationship will help the team overcome rocky waters.
Scott reported after Wednesday’s practice that the two agreed upon how many minutes the Lakers’ star will play in the 2014-15 season.
“His number was lower than mine,” Scott said after Wednesday’s practice at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “That surprised me. It helped me as well.”
Scott would not divulge specifics other than Bryant will play “between 30 and 40″ minutes per game. But it’s safe to assume Scott will strive for Bryant to play fewer than the 38 minutes he averaged in the two previous seasons before tearing his left Achilles more than 18 months ago.
Scott said he and Bryant have not discussed whether he would sit in any games, including on back-to-back nights, after playing in only six games last season because of overlapping left Achilles and left knee injuries. Bryant has averaged 11.3 points on 36.1 percent shooting in 22.3 minutes through three exhibitions.
“He wants to play every game,” Scott said. “He wants to play every preseason game and every regular season game.”
Bryant did not speak to reporters following Wednesday’s practice. But he has publicly said he is fine with any minute restriction. Bryant and Scott have also believed they would have a fruitful partnership after Scott served as Bryant’s mentor during his rookie season with the Lakers’ nearly 18 years ago. Yet, there has been plenty of intrigue surrounding Bryant’s minutes considering his competitive nature in wanting to help the Lakers win.
“We came to an agreement on that,” Scott said. “We’re happy for that.”