Lakers’ Kobe Bryant details struggles with maintaining energy

By Robert Morales

(On sitting out these games when he wants to play so badly):
“I mean, it’s hard, but it is what it is. It’s not something im going to be whining and complaining about.”

(what do you have to do different?)
“Just get my body loose and be more active throughout the game and get my legs used to playing again.”

What have you learned about yourself through this:
“Patience, A LOT of patience. I’m comfortable with how I’m playing. I see how to pick my spots, so the game looks a lot different. I’m comfortable with where I am. I’ll get my legs a little more lively and that just comes from playing aft3er having so much time off.”

Does it still kills you to sit?

“Well, of course…I’m trying to be calm, to be patient.”

What do you do when you’re not playing?
“Stretch, rest, watch the game with my family. It’s great spending time with my family, but playing games is always fun, especially for the fans.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Kobe Bryant shoots 1 of 9 in first half against Miami, which leads Lakers 44-34

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Lakers, NBA.com

 

Considering the Miami Heat bolted to an 18-0 lead over the Lakers on Tuesday night at Staples Center, the Lakers did well to trail by just 10 points (44-34) at the halftime break.

Kobe Bryant is playing after resting the previous two games and three of the past four. He scored six points with four rebounds and four assists in the half, but he shot just 1 of 9 from the field.

Overall, the Lakers shot 25.5 percent (12 of 47) and just 11.1 percent (1 of 9) from 3-point range.

Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 11 first-half points.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant to play in Tuesday’s game against Miami Heat

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant won't participate in many shootarounds if at all moving forward. (File photo/Daily News)

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant won’t participate in many shootarounds if at all moving forward. (File photo/Daily News)

After missing three of the past four games to rest his 36-year-old body, Kobe Bryant will play when the Lakers (12-26) host the Miami Heat (16-21) on Tuesday at Staples Center.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said he felt more secure about Bryant’s health after having numerous conservations with the Lakers’ star on Monday as well as Tuesday morning and afternoon.

“He was pretty convincing as far as he is ready to go, body wise and mind wise and everything,” Scott said. “It wasn’t that hard of a decision.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers currently don’t have plans to shut Kobe Bryant down

Lakers star Kobe Bryant, left, who hasn’t played since a 114-89 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday, practiced Monday and could play Tuesday against the Miami Heat at Staples Center. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

Lakers star Kobe Bryant, left, who hasn’t played since a 114-89 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday, practiced Monday and could play Tuesday against the Miami Heat at Staples Center. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

Amid all the unanswered questions surrounding Kobe Bryant’s health or even if he will play in tonight’s game against the Miami Heat at Staples Center, the Lakers seem intent on one thing.

The Lakers currently have not discussed yet the possibility of sitting Bryant for the rest of the 2014-15 season.

“This is going to be game-by-game and will be that way until the end of the season,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said after Tuesday’s morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “If we ever decide to shut it down for the rest of the season, we haven’t gotten near that point at this particular point of time. We continue to go day-by-day.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Nick Young seeks feedback from Byron Scott, Kobe Bryant on ending shooting struggles

"The Lakers’ Nick Young #0 drives to the hoop as the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic #9 defends during their NBA game at the Staples Center Friday, January 9, 2015.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)"

”The Lakers’ Nick Young #0 drives to the hoop as the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic #9 defends during their NBA game at the Staples Center Friday, January 9, 2015. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)”

Never has Lakers forward Nick Young ever seen a shot he does not like. Never has he taken a shot he felt unsure would drop into the basket.

But with entering Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat (16-21) at Staples Center averaging 12.4 points on only 25 percent shooting in the past five games, Young spent part of Monday’s practice consulting with both Lakers coach Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant on how to overcome his recent struggles.

In what he described as a “big slump,” Scott repeated criticisms in recent days to Young about both expanding his game and showing a more serious approach during his shooting drills. Scott also emphasized “you don’t live and die on every shot.”

“I needed Coach to talk to me today. Everybody needs somebody sometime,” Young said. I feel all right and feel more confident. My teammates are talking to me.”

That mostly included Bryant, who did not speak to reporters after participating in the first 90 minutes of Monday’s two-hour practice. Bryant has experienced plenty of shooting slumps during his 19-year career. This season alone, he has averaged 23 points on a career-low 37.5 percent shooting.

“He’s teaching me ways to get open and hit teammates,” Young said. “If you pass the ball and they knock down a couple shots, they can’t double team you anymore.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant completes part of practice and could play vs. Miami

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks on from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Friday, December 26, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Bryant was sitting out his third straight game to rest his sore body but could be back in the lineup when the Lakers return home for their next outing. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks on from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Friday, December 26, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Bryant was sitting out his third straight game to rest his sore body but could be back in the lineup when the Lakers return home for their next outing. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

After sitting out for three of the past four games, Kobe Bryant seemed rested enough that he participated in 90 minutes of the Lakers’ two-hour practice on Monday that entailed light shooting and half-court drills.

“He looked more focused,” Lakers forward Nick Young said of Bryant.

But will that prove enough for Bryant to return when the Lakers (12-26) host the Miami Heat (16-21) at Staples Center? Lakers coach Byron Scott said he will “pencil” Bryant in, but will not make a final decision until he sees the how 36-year-old feels following both morning shootaround and shortly before tipoff.

After all, Scott has delivered a mea culpa for the past two days on how he handled Bryant’s minutes.

“You try to move away from it and forget about it,” Scott said. “But it’s hard to do when you have a guy you care about so much and you think you kind of messed up. I think I played him too much early.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers, Kobe Bryant rank fourth overall in NBA jersey sales

"MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)"

“MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)”

Amid Kobe Bryant’s struggles fighting Father Time and the Lakers’ struggles in just collecting wins, there remains at least one source of good news.

Both the Lakers and Kobe Bryant rank fourth overall in NBA jersey sales, the league announced on Monday. The top spots went to Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors finished ahead of the Lakers.

The Clippers finished 10th overall, the most notable jersey sales going to Blake Griffin (10th) and Chris Paul (12th).

RELATED:

Bryant-less Lakers had no answer for Lillard, lose to Portland, 106-94


Lakers’ Byron Scott concedes he mismanaged Kobe Bryant’s minutes

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

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Byron Scott wants Nick Young to round out game to compensate for poor shooting

"Lakers Nick Young fouls PortlandÕs Wesley Matthews during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, January 11, 2015.  Portland defeated the Lakers 106-94. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) "

“Lakers Nick Young fouls PortlandÕs Wesley Matthews during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, January 11, 2015. Portland defeated the Lakers 106-94. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) “

He stood tall and proud by his locker stall, Nick Young appearing in ecstasy after reliving a game-winning shot that made the Lakers’ gregarious forward boast proudly about his abilities.

“They call me ‘I.D.M.’ I don’t miss,” Young proclaimed after hitting a game-winner against San Antonio last month.

Young will not need to change the acronym. But he might need to change the meaning. The Lakers’ 106-94 loss on Sunday to the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center featured Young posting only nine points on 3-of-11 shooting, completing a 15-game stretch where he has shot a combined 59-of-173 from the field ever since changing his nickname.

“I have to stop thinking so much and play my game and go out there and have fun,” Young said. “My energy, no matter what, I have to keep my energy high and continue to play the way I’ve been playing.”

But Lakers coach Byron Scott wants something different.

As Young continues to struggle in entertaining the Lakers with high-volume scoring, Scott plans to stress to Young during Monday’s practice by using this time to round out the other parts of his game.

“He has to be able to do other things on the court,” Scott said. “When his shot is not falling, you have to rebound. You have to do other things to get yourself involved. Every shot he misses is the end of the world right now to him. You have to get away from that and keep playing hard and do other things to help the team to get better.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Byron Scott concedes he mismanaged Kobe Bryant’s minutes

Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins defends against Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins defends against Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)


Kobe Bryant will sit out tonight when the Lakers (12-25) host the Portland Trail Blazers (29-8) on Sunday at Staples Center, which will mark the third game he has missed in the past four games.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said the reasons strictly involve “general body soreness” and his hope to preserve his 36-year-old star. But Scott also conceded his conservative approach stems from initially mismanaging Bryant’s playing time.

“I’m just trying to make up for all the minutes I played him early to get him more rest,” Scott said. “It was overload. My number was higher and I played to my number. That had a lot to do with him being worn down a little bit.”

Scott initially played Bryant between 30 to 40 minutes per game and even exceeded that threshold. Scott justified the move because the Lakers went into overtime in two games and they also had a four-day window between games in another scenario. But Scott conceded he should have restricted Bryant to around 31-32 minutes per game and sitting him on one night of any-back-to-back. Scott also said that Bryant’s minute suggestion proved more conservative than his own, though Scott reported the Lakers’ star remained willing to take on the heavy workload. Bryant has averaged 23 points on a career-low 37.5 percent shooting.

So what prompted Scott still to play Bryant more than even the Lakers’ star suggested?

“I didn’t take into serious consideration of him missing almost a whole year and him just getting back playing,” Scott said, referring to Bryant playing only six games last season amid injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. “I should’ve figured out that would have taken time. But watching his workouts and watching how great in shape he was in, I took a little too confidence expecting he could handle those kind of minutes. I was wrong.”

Scott has since scaled back Bryant’s workload. After sitting for three consecutive games last month, Bryant has taken more of a facilitating role in the next five games by averaging 17 points on 40.9 percent shooting and eight assists in 31.4 minutes per game. Scott plans to rest Bryant on one night of a back-to-back, and will choose the first or second game depending on how many days of rest remain before and after the back-to-back.

Would Scott ever shut Bryant down for the 2014-15 season to preserve him next season for what could be his last year?

“I haven’t thought about that yet,” Scott said. “Maybe after All-Star break, we’ll talk about something like that if necessary. But right now, that’s something we haven’t discussed.”

The Lakers resume play after the All-Star break on Feb. 20. Until then, Scott downplayed any concerns about Bryant’s health despite his recent absences.

“I’m not concerned about his health right now,” Scott said. “His body, it’s a basketball player who has played a lot of years. I have to be concerned about that. That’s why I’m taking precautionary measures as far as not allowing him to play so many games. I want him to be right not only for this season, but for the rest of next season as well.”

RELATED:

Lakers’ Byron Scott relies on Pat Riley’s mentorship and tough love


Lakers’ Wesley Johnson to start, Kobe Bryant’s status unclear

Lakers’ Byron Scott: Nick Young needs to put more work into ending shooting slump

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

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Wesley Johnson to start, Kobe Bryant’s status unclear

 L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant did not practice on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, after sitting out last night's 101-84 win against Orlando. Bryant's status is unclear for Sunday's game against Portland. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant did not practice on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, after sitting out last night’s 101-84 win against Orlando. Bryant’s status is unclear for Sunday’s game against Portland. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Lakers forward Wesley Johnson will retake his starting small forward spot in tonight’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center after missing the previous three games because of a strained right hip flexor. But it still remains unclear if Kobe Bryant will suit up after missing two of the past three games to rest his 36-year-old body.

Lakers coach Byron Scott reported that Bryant has experienced “a little body soreness,” a similar situation that prompted Scott to sit him last month for three consecutive games.

“We gave him four or five days off and he came back and looked rejuvenated,” Scott said. “We’re still trying to be cautious with that.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email