Los Angeles, Ca. – Kobe Bryant expressed his disappointment with being breifly benched in the fourth quarter in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 102-96 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday night.
At first Bryant tried to keep quiet about how he felt about being benched then he decided to throw his support behind coach Mike Brown.
“It’s his decision to make. He makes the decision. He’s the coach. If you guys are looking for a story, I’m not going to give you one. I can’t sit here and criticize his decisions. In leading this ballclub, that’s something I can’t afford to do. I got to have his back. I’ve had his back the whole season; I can’t start doing something crazy now. It wouldn’t make no sense.”
Bryant was benched with almost six minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Lakers were down by 14 points. Bryant’s frustration only seemed to grow when he was subbed out of the game in favor of Metta World Peace and remained out of the game until 1:51. At that point the Lakers were only down by 9.
Brown commented on subbing out Kobe,
“I just felt like I needed to make a sub at the time, so I did. It’s not one particular thing. I just made the sub, went with Metta, sat (Bryant) for a couple minutes and then tried to go back to him but obviously it didn’t work. I usually don’t like to run him because he ends up playing a ton of minutes. He was at 38 (minutes), 27 (seconds) tonight but I don’t like to run him a whole half if I can help it. If I can give him a minute or two here or there, then I will.”
Brown typically does not start Kobe Bryant in the fourth quarter so as not to wear him out.