Kobe Bryant came to Lakers game at Byron Scott’s urging

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Kobe Bryant watched the Lakers lose to the Mavericks yesterday from the team’s bench.

He previously showed up to honor Pau Gasol a day after his season-ending surgery, but Kobe hadn’t watched a game from the bench since.

Why now?

Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times:

Coach Byron Scott said he spoke with Bryant during the team’s recent trip and told the 17-time All-Star he wanted to him to attend the team’s home games.

“I wanted him around,” Scott said. “I like seeing him.”

“It was good to see him out here. Good to see him with this teammates,” Scott said of Bryant, who will get $23.5 million from the Lakers this season. “I’m sure it was good for the fans to see him as well.”

Giving the Lakers the benefit of the doubt, they didn’t sign him to a huge two-year extension for what he provides on the court. They did it because he draws fans.

It’s not the same when he’s injured, but Kobe can still contribute. This in-game interview probably generated some interest in the team that wouldn’t have existed otherwise:

Plus, he can make sure the Lakers don’t get out of hand, something Scott was having trouble with.