Lakers’ Byron Scott on Kobe Bryant: “He doesn’t want to go out this way”

The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant didn’t practice Tuesday in Phoenix and may not play in today’s game in New Orleans to preserve his 36-year-old body. Hans Gutknecht ‑ Staff Photographer

The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant didn’t practice Tuesday in Phoenix and may not play in today’s game in New Orleans to preserve his 36-year-old body. Hans Gutknecht ‑ Staff Photographer

SAN ANTONIO — Byron Scott sat on the scorer’s table here at AT&T Center wishing he could provide some answers. Instead, he was left wondering like everyone else the severity of Kobe Bryant’s torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

“We’re still waiting for our doctors to take a look at it,” Scott said following morning shootaround on Friday before the Lakers (12-31) visit the San Antonio Spurs (27-17) tonight. “We all in the organization are worried about it. We were hoping by this time that we would have this news. He just hasn’t had a chance yet to see our doctors. So I’m waiting just like you guys are.”

Bryant still plans to see team doctors for a reevaluation on Friday. But the Lakers should know before tipoff to what degree this injury will impact Bryant. Will he need season-ending surgery? Will this injury sideline Bryant for a few weeks. Will the Lakers just shut him down anyway?

Scott said he has not outlined any contingency plans. But after mentoring Bryant his rookie season 18 years ago, Scott sensed that Bryant will eventually return to the court after suffering his third major injury in the past three seasons.

“This is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever been around as far as dealing with injuries and things like that and being able to come back,” said Scott, noting Bryant returning from a left Achilles tendon he tore in April, 2013 about eight months later. “Everybody said he was done after the Achilles and he came back pretty strong. Knowing him the way I know him, I know he doesn’t want to go out this way. I think he’ll rehab it if that’s the case and then we’ll have to wait and see.”
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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant jokingly blames injury on passing too much

 Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has suffered another setback. How long will this one keep him donw? (File photo/AP Photo)

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has suffered another setback. How long will this one keep him donw? (File photo/AP Photo)

SAN ANTONIO – Dark clouds hover over Kobe Bryant over the Lakers’ persistent losing and a likely debilitating injury.

But even with Bryant’s torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder marking the third consecutive season he suffered a major injury, the Lakers’ star sure hasn’t lost his sarcastic sense of humor. Consider Bryant’s tweet on Friday morning in what marked his first official response to his latest setback.


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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TNT drops Lakers-Knicks game on March 12

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in New Orleans. The Pelicans won 96-80. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in New Orleans. The Pelicans won 96-80. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

SAN ANTONIO — The Lakers are experiencing negative vibes besides persistent losses and a likely debilitating injury to Kobe Bryant.

National telecasts are dropping Lakers games at a furious rate. TNT just canceled its plans on Friday to televise the Lakers’ home game at Staples Center against the New York Knicks on March 12. Earlier this week, ESPN dropped the Lakers’ game in New York on Feb. 1, as the two teams have a combined 19-67 record.
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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant diagnosed with torn rotator cuff in right shoulder

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard Nate Wolters, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard Nate Wolters, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

SAN ANTONIO — In a season where he has already felt the strain of Father Time in his play, energy level and minute restrictions, Kobe Bryant just experienced another devastating punch.

An MRI on Bryant’s right shoulder revealed he has a torn rotator cuff. This injury will sideline him at least for when the Lakers (12-31) visit the San Antonio Spurs (27-16) on Friday at AT&T Center. But possibly more. Bryant will return to Los Angeles later on Thursday and meet with team doctors for further evaluation on Friday.

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Lakers still waiting on MRI results on Kobe Bryant’s right shoulder

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard Nate Wolters, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard Nate Wolters, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

SAN ANTONIO — The topic of conversation surrounding the Lakers seemed pretty obvious.

How does Kobe Bryant’s right shoulder feel a day after feeling soreness in the Lakers’ 96-80 loss on Wednesday to the New Orleans Pelicans? The only problem: the Lakers do not have many answers. Bryant missed the Lakers’ practice at AT&T Center on Thursday so he could take an MRI on his sore right shoulder.

Lakers coach Byron Scott hardly wanted to outline contingency plans on how to handle Bryant until he knows the results. But Scott sounded skeptical when asked if there is any scenario Bryant could play when the Lakers (12-31) visit the San Antonio Spurs (27-16) on Friday at AT&T Center.

“Not that I can think of, to be honest with you,” Scott said. “I’m just going back on what I saw last night when I put him back in. He couldn’t even lift that arm up. I don’t know the type of strength he has in that arm. But again I’m not jumping the gun or counting him or anything.”

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Will Ferrell throws basketball at cheerleader during filming at Lakers-Pelicans game

NEW ORLEANS — The anticipation rose as it appeared actor Will Ferrell would take a half-court shot.

Instead, Ferrell drilled the basketball at a New Orleans Pelicans cheerleader. The comedic actor gone crazy? Well that’s always debatable. But Ferrell was actually filming a scene for a movie titled “Daddy’s Home” during the Lakers’ eventual 96-80 loss on Wednesday to the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

Incidentally, Lakers star Kobe Bryant took part in filming earlier in the day, filming with both Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg while wearing his Lakers’ warmups. Then at halftime, fans were encouraged to stay in their seats before Ferrell performed his basketball throwing stunts before being jokingly escorted away by security. Ferrell, who often attends Lakers games, then hugged Nick Young and Jordan Hill before leaving the court.

In a game where the Lakers dropped their season-worst sixth consecutive loss and Bryant experienced soreness in his right shoulder, it turns out Ferrell’s antics marked the lone highlight of the game for Lakers fans.


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers-Knicks game on Feb 1 dropped from ESPN

While Derek Fisher, left, listens, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson speaks during a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The Knicks hired Fisher as their new coach on Tuesday, with Jackson turning to one of his trustiest former players. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

While Derek Fisher, left, listens, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson speaks during a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The Knicks hired Fisher as their new coach on Tuesday, with Jackson turning to one of his trustiest former players. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW ORLEANS — Two proud franchises in plush media markets have sunk so low that television executives have determined viewers could not stomach watching them play against each other.

ESPN canceled its planned coverage of the Lakers’ game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 1. ESPN has not immediately rescheduled a replacement game, though its reasoning for dropping the Lakers-Knicks game seems obvious. The two teams have a combined 18-66 record. ESPN could also devote the extra hours of programming toward pre-game coverage of Super XLIX.

Meanwhile, the scheduled Lakers’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 2 changed for the second time in less than a week. After ABC dumped its plan to telecast the game at 12:30 p.m. and shifted the time to 6:30 p.m., ESPN has since picked up the game and will move the time up to 3:30 p.m.
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Forbes tabs Lakers as NBA’s most valuable franchise at $2.6 billion

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant offered empathy for Xavier Henry having a season-ending left Achilles injury jeff gross – getty images

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant offered empathy for Xavier Henry having a season-ending left Achilles injury jeff gross – getty images

NEW ORLEANS — The Lakers may have struggled to collect wins. But they have done quite well in collecting pay checks.

The Lakers are considered the NBA’s most valuable franchise worth $2.6 billion, according to Forbes’ annual rankings that were released on Wednesday.

There are varying explanations for the Lakers’ profitability despite the team having a 12-30 record, fourth worst in the NBA.

The Lakers are in their third season of a local television cable deal with Time Warner Cable Access SportsNet worth $5 billion through 25 years. The Lakers’ value increased by 93 percent, according to Forbes, because of the NBA’s new $24-billion national television deal. According to Forbes, that increased the value of an average NBA franchise to $1.1 billion, a 74 percent increase. Meanwhile, the Lakers remain a powerful global brand both for their 16 NBA championships and Kobe Bryant’s presence. He is paid $23.5 million this season and will make $25 million next season presuming he plays out the final year of his contract.
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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant to play against New Orleans

"The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant #24 looks to shoot as the Thunder’s Andre Roberson #21 defends during their NBA game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday, December 19, 2014. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

“The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant #24 looks to shoot as the Thunder’s Andre Roberson #21 defends during their NBA game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday, December 19, 2014. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

NEW ORLEANS — After resting for the past two games in a six-day span, Kobe Bryant will suit up when the Lakers (12-30) visit the New Orleans Pelicans (20-21) on Wednesday at Smoothie King Center.

“He’s ready to go,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott, who still plans to restrict Bryant’s playing time between 30 to 32 minutes.

Bryant did not participate in Wednesday’s shootaround and did not talk to reporters after emerging out of the team’s locker room. After resting in eight of the previous 15 games, Bryant has avoided any on-court work both to maximize his rest and time for treatment. But Scott acknowledged the inevitable that Bryant will likely appear rusty after last playing in Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“There really isn’t unless we want him to play the remainder 40 games and wear himself out. That’s definitely not in our plans,” Scott said. “There are days he’ll have rest. Then there are games he normally will be rusty and get his his timing back the next game. It’s something we have to live with. That’s something he has to live with as well. Right now that’s something he’s more than willing to do that just to make sure we preserve him as much as possible.”
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New Orleans’ Anthony Davis appreciative of Kobe Bryant’s mentorship

The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant didn’t practice Tuesday in Phoenix and may not play in today’s game in New Orleans to preserve his 36-year-old body. Hans Gutknecht ‑ Staff Photographer

The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant didn’t practice Tuesday in Phoenix and may not play in today’s game in New Orleans to preserve his 36-year-old body. Hans Gutknecht ‑ Staff Photographer

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis’ eagerness to return to the court went beyond his frustration over a recently sprained left toe that sideline him for three consecutive games.

Davis also looked forward toward suiting up when the New Orleans Pelicans (20-21) host the Lakers (12-3) tonight at Smoothie King Center to face a certain player. His name is Kobe Bryant. You may have heard of him.

“He’s a competitor and brings the competitive nature out of everybody,” Davis said Wednesday after the Pelicans’ morning shootaround. “Guys have to show up when you play against any good team. When Kobe is on the team, they’re capable of winning.”
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