After loss to Kings, Lakers’ Scott considers resting exhausted Bryant

first_imgSACRAMENTO — Kobe Bryant slowly emerged from the trainer’s room. He moved slowly, the weight of a heavy workload, poor performance and another Lakers’ loss becoming too overwhelming. “Gotta rest,” Bryant said after the Lakers’ 108-101 loss on Sunday to the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. But how the Lakers’ star receives that rest remains open for debate. After Bryant posted 25 points on 8-of-30 shooting and nine turnovers in 38 minutes against Sacramento, Lakers coach Byron Scott said he will consider resting the 36-year-old Bryant for “a game or two” after playing the entire first and third quarter. “I know he’s trying to do so much,” Scott said. “I have to talk to him. I’m going to take what he says with a grain of salt because I know him and I know he wants to play.” Bryant conceded there’s “probably not much of an option” and that sitting out “might make sense.” But Bryant also sensed the importance of his presence for reasons beyond snapping the Lakers’ three-game losing streak and improving their 8-19 record. “I take a lot of pride in trying to play all 82 (regular-season games),” Bryant said. “People come and spend their hard-earned money to watch us play and hope that I’m out there.”The 17,317 that saw Bryant play against the Kings on Sunday saw some glimpses of his greatness, such as canning shots from 22 and 30 feet. But they mostly saw images of Bryant’s questionable shot selection and exhaustion. Bryant airballed one shot. He was called for traveling on another possession. After facing a double team, Bryant attempted a fadeaway jumper behind the basket. He threw a jump pass to Lakers forward Jordan Hill that landed on his ankles. Bryant also committed an offensive foul on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins as the Lakers trailed 101-95 with 2:30 left.Does the Lakers’ 37.9 percent clip against Sacramento fall on Bryant needing to pass more?“Some. He would be the first to tell you,” Scott said of Bryant. “But the time we don’t have him on the ball … guys are just standing around.” It didn’t help the Lakers went on offensive dry spells, that included going the final 6:11 of the third quarter without a field goal. The Lakers also had no answer for Cousins (29 points), Rudy Gay (24 points), Ben McClemore (23 points) and Darren Collison (19 points).How much does this rest on Bryant?“It’s going to fall on him a lot because he has our highest usage rate,” said Lakers guard Jeremy Lin, who had a four points and three turnovers. “The point guard has to do their job. All our four other guys have to fall in line and get to their spots with intensity. It is a team thing.” Yet, Bryant focused his struggles more on “exhaustion” and “general soreness” than his shot selection. “I understand what the workload is and what I have to do to be successful,” Bryant said. “It’s trying to figure out a way for my body to respond.” Bryant has recently assumed point guard duties. After taking off morning shootarounds and practices, Bryant has participated in limited practices in the past two weeks. “Just give me the ball. I’m always down to shoulder the load,” Lakers forward Nick Young after posting 26 points on 7-of-14 shooting off the bench.Then he turned serious, expressing equal admiration for Bryant’s determination in his 19th NBA season and concern on his well-being.“He still goes out there every night to give his best,” Young said. “We need Kobe out there and he knows it. But we don’t want him to kill himself. That’s what I’m here for.” center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img