Byron Scott gave ‘really angry’ Kobe Bryant Monday off
In the wake of Kobe Bryant brutally savaging himself for his play thus far this season, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott felt it best to give the superstar some time to cool off by allowing him to skip Monday’s practice.
“I said, just stay away from the gym today,” Scott said after Monday’s practice session, via ESPN. “Just spend some time with your kids and family and get basketball off your mind for 24 hours if you can — which I don’t think he can — and then come in tomorrow fresh and we’ll go from there.”
Bryant pulled no punches in a brutal self-assessment of how he’s been playing during the Lakers’ 0-3 start, saying “I freaking suck” and at one point suggesting he’s the “the 200th-best player in the league right now.” Bryant interestingly scoffed at a ESPN NBA player ranking project in which he was tabbed as the 93rd best player, something he deemed as “silly stuff.” It’s clear the past three games has changed his perspective.
Bryant is of course coming off several injury-plagued seasons, playing in only 35 during the 2014-15 campaign before a rotator cuff tear and subsequent surgery sent him on a long and arduous trip through yet another round of rehabilitation.
He proclaimed himself ready to roll heading into the season but understandably has shown some signs of rust. While he is averaging 17.3 points, he’s shooting only 31 percent from the floor while averaging 27 minutes per game.
Scott was asked if the Lakers have any plans in place to rest 37-year-old Bryant from time to time. Noting that he could envision a scenario where Bryant would play “60-something” games, Scott admitted he’s trying to remain in the present at this point.
“I haven’t really looked at the schedule for those rest games,” he said. “I’m just taking it one game at a time right now.”
Scott also apparently is taking it one practice at a time as well, at least as it concerns whether his superstar veteran player is in a good enough mood and frame of mind to participate in them.