L.A.

Lakers coach Bryon Scott looking to preserve Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers this upcoming season will have much of their success hinge on the shoulders of Kobe Bryant, which is something that head coach Byron Scott knows clearly he must keep an eye on, according to Dan Gartland of SI.com.

“We know how hard he works, we know how driven he is,” Scott told KPCC. “But I think he’s at the point too where he’s so much more mature, and he understands that he only has a few more miles left on that body, you know, maybe two, maybe three years. And I think he’s probably more acceptable to accept the fact that you can’t practice every day. There might be some games where you can’t play this game or that game. But that’s all to be determined. I’m not going to sacrifice his body just to try to win a game.”

The 36-year-old is coming off an injury-riddled 2013-14 season, where he missed all but six games due to his recovery from a torn left Achilles tendon, and a fracture to his left knee. That said, Bryant has progressed well in his rehab from the injuries this offseason, and is on track to be ready by the start of training camp at the end of this month.

Los Angeles has undergone much change this offseason in terms of roster personnel with additions Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis, and draftees Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. The team also re-signed a slew of players from last year’s team that includes Nick Young, Jordan HillWesley Johnson, Xavier Henry, and Ryan Kelly. However, they were unable to retain Pau Gasol, who instead elected to ink a multi-year deal with the Chicago Bulls.

With all that in mind, Scott will need Bryant to be one of the main offensive contributors to the team, but at the same time he will monitor the 16-time All-Star’s health throughout the season to help preserve him as he plays through the latter stages of his career. The fact that Scott has suggested that Bryant may not be able to play a game or two next season shows he is conscious of his star player’s health coming off two serious leg injuries.

This does not mean that the Lakers will not be reliant on the franchise’s all-time highest scorer, but it will determine the degree of how much they will expect from Bryant after he shows what he can bring to the table at this point in his career. Ultimately, it remains to be seen what kind of player Bryant is, and once that is settled everything else will fall into place.

Photo Credit | Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today

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Bob Garcia IV

Staff Writer at Sports Out West
Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He is also currently covering the NBA and NFL for ClutchPoints. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarciaivsports.
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