NBA

Kobe Bryant and Byron Scott.

Byron Scott says L.A. Lakers' performances in Kobe Bryant's final season 'bother' him

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Kobe Bryant's farewell tour is coming to an end. In fact, there are only five games left for the Black Mamba in the famous purple and gold of the Los Angeles Lakers.

After 20 years in the league, it is almost time to say goodbye and, despite it being an amazing season as the NBA shows appreciation to a legend, it has been a less than ideal campaign for the Lakers.

The Pacific Division franchise are marooned at the bottom of the Western Conference with a record of 16-61, only the Philadelphia 76ers, who have a .128 win percentage have performed worse this season.

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Byron Scott, who has been Bryant's head coach since 2014 and was his teammate during the Black Mamba's rookie season, said it bothered him that the Lakers have been performing the way they are during his final campaign.

As per ESPN, he said: "It bothers me that his last five, six, seven, eight games are going to be with the way we're playing as a team. That bothers me because you're talking about a champion. That bothers me because he is a champion. And I hate to see him go out this way. Unfortunately, this is the way it's going to be.

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"It bothers the hell out of me that somebody who's given 20 years to this league and has played through broken fingers, come back from the Achilles, come back from the shoulder surgery, and he still goes out there and gives it everything he has, that bothers me."

GOODBYE

In truth, this season has been as much about Bryant's farewell as performances for the franchise on the hardwood. Had it not been for the departing Kobe then the evident issues at the Staples Center would only have been magnified.

It has hardly been a vintage campaign for the 37-year-old though. He has played in 61 games and is averaging 16.8 points per night, his lowest output in a season where he has started at least 30 games. He is also providing 2.9 assists, his lowest production since the turn of the century, and is shooting a career-low percentage from the field.

However, this is not a season to critique the numbers Bryant is producing, it is a chance to appreciate a guy who has given everything to the league throughout his career and recent images of the number 24 on the Lakers' bench heavily iced up shows the toll 20 years of professional basketball has had on his body.

Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers

Despite his low production and obvious physical limitations, there have still been some vintage moments throughout the season. His 34 points against the Boston Celtics at the weekend brought back memories of their fierce rivalry. His last matchup with LeBron James, where he scored more points than 'the King' was also full of nostalgia. It's just a shame they came during defeats.

Topics:
Roy Hibbert
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Kobe Bryant

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