So much uncertainty lingers on the exact numbers of former Lakers teammates that will attend Kobe Bryant’s final game. Or what the exact pageantry will entail for when the Lakers (15-66) host the Utah Jazz (40-41) on Wednesday at Staples Center. Or if Bryant becomes overwhelmed with emotions after spending most of his 20-year NBA career not allowing that human element to consume him.
But in a game that has fielded both a sell-out crowd 450-500 credentialed media members, there marks at least one thing that will be easy to anticipate. That involves how Bryant will play in his 1,346th and final NBA contest.
“A lot of shots in a lot of minutes,” Lakers coach Byron Scott with a smile. “I got a real good sense that we’re going to try to get him the ball as much as possible, and we’re going to try to compete as best as we can.”
Scott would only say Bryant’s workload hinges on how well he feels after nursing soreness all season in his right shoulder. Yet for unlike most of the season, Bryant’s playing status remained definitive.
Yet, Scott has said Bryant would exceed the season-high 37 minutes he played in late November against Toronto. Bryant has also averaged a team-leading 16.4 field-goal attempts albeit in 28 minutes per contest.
Lakers forward and veteran teammate Metta World Peace hesitated to predict how many shots Bryant would take. World Peace sounded worried any clairvoyant powers he has could end up with an airball.
“I didn’t ask him, ‘How many shots are you going to shoot?'” World Peace said. “If he said, ’40 [shots]’ and he falls short, then people will be disappointed. So I don’t know.”