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According to ESPN, there is no plan for the Los Angeles Lakers to shut down Kobe Bryant for the season as he continues to sit out games to rest.
Bryant started the season playing a team-high in minutes as he overcame two serious injuries over the past two years to prove that he was still capable of playing consistently at a high level.
However, prior to Christmas, his numbers declined and he finally agreed to sit out and rest with general body soreness as he even cited “old age” as the reason behind sitting out the Christmas Day game against the Chicago Bulls.
The 36-year-old went a combined 19-of-71 in three straight losses prior to that rest, but he returned with some impressive performances after as he threatened to record multiple triple-doubles.
However, his appearances have become unpredictable over the past fortnight as the Lakers had suggested that he would sit out one game of back-to-backs. He sat out the second night of a back-t0-back in Portland earlier this week and then returned to face the Clippers. However, he then sat out the Orlando win on Friday despite it being two days later.
“Kobe is out again tonight. But I’m told there’s no thought of shutting down. He’s just trying to figure out how to get right. He’s not hurt,” Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported.
Bryant has just a year and a half remaining on his current contract and so he will likely be determined to play as much as possible despite the Lakers not playing for anything of significance.
With no more career milestones in sight and the playoffs a distant dream, Bryant may well continue to pick and choose the games that he features in as he looks ahead to the franchise making moves in free agency this summer.