Kobe Bryant has been busy.
He’s warned Julius Randle about screwing up an opportunity to learn from Kobe and Byron Scott, called ESPN voters who ranked him the NBA’s 40th-best player “idiots” and led the Lakers with 19.0 points on 16.8 shots per game in the preseason.
He’s going to tire himself out.
So, despite Kobe’s plan to play all eight preseason games, he sat out the Lakers’ win over the Trail Blazers yesterday and will also miss the preseason finale tomorrow.
“I was just thinking he needs some rest,” Scott said. “… I think we’re all pretty happy with where he is after the last two games.”
Bryant didn’t speak to reporters Wednesday but told Scott he didn’t have any qualms about sitting out. At least that was Scott’s story.
“If it was the regular season, it might be different, but he was OK,” Scott said. “He understands what the goal is and the goal was, which was to get off to a great start and build up his minutes, his endurance and everything and go from there. He’s fine.”
Hopefully, this is just Scott coming to his senses and not a setback with Kobe’s health. There’s no reason for Kobe, at his age and with his injury history, to play all eight preseason games. It was a dumb plan to begin with.
The Lakers need to save Kobe to play an unprecedentedly high number of regular-season minutes.