The morning after Kobe Bryant told reporters "I'm the 200th best player in the league right now... I freaking suck," Lakers head coach gave Bryant the day off from practice. Bryant made just 3 of his 15 field goal attempts to score 15 points in the Lakers' Sunday night loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
While Lakers head coach Byron Scott said Bryant was given today off because he was "angry with himself," the coach also admitted that he plans to give Bryant periodic rest so that he can play through the entire season healthy. Scott told Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News that "he hopes Kobe can play something in the 60-game range. Absences likely on back-to-backs to rest." These are the first specifics we have heard from Scott regarding how many games he expects Bryant to play, and while a plan to sit the 37-year old guard during one game of the team's back to backs always made the most sense, it is still encouraging to hear the team officially plans to do so.
The Lakers also had their first clean injury sheet in a long time before Sunday's game, but in addition to Bryant sitting out, Julius Randle broke Larry Nance, Jr's nose. Brandon Bass, who suffered what the team called a "corneal abrasion" (he got scratched/poked in the eye) during the second half of the Lakers' loss to the Mavericks also sat out practice while he awaits seeing a specialist for further inspection. I guess the Lakers forgot to lay out poisoned bait for the injury bug, and it is once again creeping around their locker room.