The Los Angeles Lakers have been a bad team over the past two seasons, there is no hiding that fact. And there are multiple reasons why the famous franchise has won just 48 games over the past two campaigns.
However, the fact that the talismanic Kobe Bryant has been forced to miss 123 games during that period certainly hasn't helped matters down at the Staples Center.
So, with Byron Scott hoping for better things in the 2015-16 season, it is perhaps no surprise that he is considering taking decisive action this week when it comes to the fit-again Bryant.
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As reported by Pro Basketball Talk, the Lakers head coach admitted yesterday that he is considering shutting down Kobe for the remainder of the preseason.
“To be honest with you, [he] probably won’t play [Monday],” Scott said, via ESPN's Baxter Holmes.
“I’d rather get him close to 100 percent as possible. These games don’t mean anything right now," continued Scott, before admitting there was a "chance" the Black Mamba didn't play again until opening night.
Considering Bryant's recent history with injuries, and the fact he is now 37-years-old, it makes sense for the Lakers to keep him out of harms way in games that have no value except for helping with fitness and roster rotation.
The multi-time All-Star has already suffered a bruised calf during the Lakers' preseason schedule, so there is no point risking further damage before competitive fixtures have even begun.
With the Lakers needing a healthy Bryant just to stand a chance in the Western Conference, even those fans hoping to see Kobe in action in games against Portland and Golden State this week will surely understand the decision.
Lakers fans: Can your team challenge for a playoff spot? And is this Kobe's last season? Have your say in the comments below...