The Lakers lost at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento last night, 108-101, and it’s hard not to blame anyone other than a very worn-down Kobe Bryant. The 36 year-old shot a miserable 8-for-30 — including 1-for-7 in the fourth — and turned the ball over nine times in the loss. After the game, coach Byron Scott pondered whether it might make sense to sit Mamba a game or two to rest his legs. Surprisingly, Kobe agreed.
Per the Los Angeles Times:
Not surprisingly, the Lakers lost, 108-101, at the aptly named Sleep Train Arena. They were a bore to watch, throwing up a lot of one-on-one shots amid an offense in disarray.
It forced Lakers Coach Byron Scott to ponder the once unthinkable — resting Bryant for a game.
Equally imponderable: Bryant seems to be in agreement with it.
“There’s probably not much of an option … it might make sense,” he said quietly after making only eight of 30 shots (26.7%). He had 25 points and nine turnovers.
“It’s fatigue and then just general soreness, joint soreness, body soreness,” Bryant said.
It’s unusual for the workhorse Bryant to admit he might need a break. He’s shooting a career low 37.2 percent from the field so far this season, down from a career mark over 45 percent. He’s fallen beneath the 40 percent mark in six of his last games, too.
Kobe wrestled with the idea of sitting out a game, despite conceding it might help:
“I take a lot of pride in trying to play all 82, obviously,” he said. “People come and spend their hard-earned money and come to watch us play, hoping I’m out there. I try to take that into account every single night.”
Coach Scott plans to talk with Kobe today about the idea of sitting out their next game, which comes Tuesday night against the Warriors, who have the NBA’s best record at 22-3. The Lakers play again this week on Christmas Day in a nationally televised matchup against the Bulls.
We doubt Bryant’s presence against the high-octane Dubs will prove to be the difference between a win or a loss, but it is unusual for Bryant to admit time off might help.
“I didn’t anticipate having to try to do so much, to be honest with you,” Bryant said after the game. “At this stage the body doesn’t respond as quickly.
“I understand what the workload is and what I have to do for us to be successful. Now it’s just trying to figure out a way to have my body respond to be able to do it.”
Should Bryant sit out Tuesday’s Warriors game to prepare for Christmas Day?
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