The long-term plan for Kobe Bryant is still a mystery. He played against Phoenix last night after sitting out three straight games to rest his body, and he sat out practice on Monday. Lakers coach Byron Scott says he’s going to use this season as something of a testing ground to figure out how to manage Bryant’s minutes in his advanced age.
Here’s what Scott said, via LakersNation.com’s Serena Winters:
“I think it might take this year to kind of figure out for the next year, how we’re kind of going to go about that plan, so right now everything that we’re doing is really a work in progress, and a lot of it really is indicated on how he feels.”
Bryant has one more year on his contract after this one, which would be his 20th in the NBA. All indications are that that will be the end for him. As such, it’s probably in everybody’s best interests to make sure he’s as healthy as he can be for his final season so he can get a proper sendoff around the league. As Bryant has said recently, there is no blueprint for playing as long as he has, so he and Scott are essentially figuring it out as they go along. If that means he’ll miss a few more games this season than previously thought, so be it.