The Los Angeles Lakers know that Kobe Bryant’s time remaining in the NBA is measured in minutes, so this season they plan to conserve the 36-year-old guard as best they can.
Lakers head coach Byron Scott said he plans to limit how much Kobe will be playing and practicing, a measure also meant to allow his body to continue healing from a pair of serious injuries — an Achilles tear in April 2013, and a knee fracture in December.
“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,” Scott added.
It’s likely that the Los Angeles Lakers have only one more season with Kobe Bryant, or two at most, so the team is trying to quickly assemble a title contender. Despite finishing 27-55 last year, last in the Pacific Division, the Lakers are set on contending this year.
There are rumors that the team has some big free agents in their sights, with Hoops Habit reporting that Rajon Rondo could be one:
“Enter Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. With rumblings regarding a trade request for years, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan said that the 10-year veteran has asked to be moved, and won’t re-sign with Boston next year in free agency.”
“Rondo’s camp has since denied the request and made it clear that he wants to remain with the team. With the addition of Marcus Smart and being far removed from a playoff team, the Celtics are heading for a rebuild. Being one of the NBA’s most competitive players, Rondo is likely looking to find a team that can get him back in the postseason.”
The Los Angeles Lakers are also rumored to be targeting Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, though he is still under contract for one more season. This could also lead the Lakers into the next challenge — planning for life after Kobe Bryant.
[Image via 2014hd.com]