The Los Angeles Lakers grabbed an impressive win over early Eastern Conference pacesetters the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night, and as usual their talisman Kobe Bryant was leading the charge.
Kobe's triple double (33 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists) was perhaps his best all-round performance of the season as he ran himself into the ground to help the Lakers secure a much needed victory in overtime.
But such has been the efforts of the 36-year-old in this his comeback season that Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott is beginning to show concern for Bryant and his ability to continue at such a pace.
State of exhaustion
Indeed, seeing the exhausted state of his star man as the Lakers travelled to Detroit to take on the Pistons, Scott took the executive decision to ban Kobe from taking part in Lakers practice:
“I go by what he feels with his body at that particular time,” Scott said via The Orange County Register.
“I saw him yesterday on the plane, he looked exhausted. So when he texted me this morning about staying at the hotel about getting some treatment and getting some ice, he told me he could come to practice. I told him what for? Stay there and get some rest and we’ll see you tonight.”
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With several of the Lakers roster in the treatment room already, Scott can ill-afford losing his main man and he knows it.
Kobe has played an incredible 35.9 minutes for the Lakers so far this season and as such the Lakers have already moved to limit his participation in practice and shootaround sessions.
He didn't take part in any such activities last week and it seems like Scott is more than happy to see that trend continue so long as it helps Bryant's chances of playing NBA games.
“This is all about trying to preserve his body as much as possible and let him get as much rest (as possible),” explained Scott.
“Because his recovery time is the most important thing right now. We want him to be as strong as he can be for the games.”
Bryant is needed on court now almost more than ever in LA as the team bids to resurrect another failing season. Allowing him to rest as much as possible greatly increased the chances of that happening.