The evolving pattern regarding Kobe Bryant’s tenuous health made it obvious. The three season-ending injuries Bryant has suffered in consecutive seasons may have given it away, too.
But with Bryant still listed as questionable for when the Lakers (9-40) host the Charlotte Hornets (22-25) on Sunday at Staples Center because of continued soreness in his right shoulder, Lakers coach Byron Scott sensed those issues are “going to be ongoing for the next 2 1/2 months.” In other words, Bryant’s playing status will likely stay uncertain for all of the Lakers’ remaining 33 regular-season games before Bryant retires from a 20-year NBA career.
“Some days his shoulder is going to be feeling great and some days it’s going to be sore,” Scott said after morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “At his age and all the games that he played, I’m sure there are mornings he wakes up and he’s just sore with the way he slept.”
Scott wasn’t exaggerating. Although he has missed games last week against Dallas and the Clippers, Bryant said he has not experienced any recent issues with his previously sore right Achilles. But before sitting out against Dallas, Bryant reported he sometimes feels “aches” when he sleeps. Sometimes the pain worsens when Bryant wakes up.
Even with two decades removed from his 14-year NBA career, Scott recalled the same thing often happens to him.
“I wake up some mornings and there’s a whole lot of [stuff] hurting,” Scott said, laughing. “I didn’t do anything.”