The Los Angeles Lakers have, to put it mildly, had a tough start to the 2015-16 season, and it has hit their talisman, Kobe Bryant, pretty hard.
Allowing 346 points over the first three games of the campaign, the famous franchise are yet to get a W on the board, with Bryant admitting his own play had 'sucked' through the opening week of fixtures.
And it looks like the Lakers took a fairly odd step yesterday in an attempt to get the Black Mamba back on track.
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As reported by ESPN, Lakers head coach Byron Scott told Bryant to skip Monday's practice. But, rather than his absence being down to rest or injury, the future Hall of Famer was given time off simply because he was "really angry."
"I said, just stay away from the gym today," Scott told the media after the session. "Just spend some time with your kids and family and get basketball off your mind for 24 hours if you can - which I don't think he can - and then come in tomorrow fresh and we'll go from there."
Kobe's self-critical comments in the aftermath of the Lakers' 103-93 loss to the Mavericks were certainly out of character for a man who is notoriously self-assured.
Still, shooting just 31.3 percent on the season and having missed 12-of-15 shots vs Dallas, it is clear that Kobe's much-heralded return from injury hasn't started as he, or the franchise, would have wanted.
With 79 more games left to go (and perhaps endure) the Lakers know that, despite his rusty start, they will need Kobe in the right frame of mind from here on out if they are to avoid a repeat of the disastrous 2014-15 season.
To see the franchise having to take such drastic action at this stage, however, is hardly going to inspire confidence in Lakers fans who are already fearing the worst.
Lakers fans: Should Kobe have retired after his last injury? Have your say in the comments below...News Now - Sport News