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Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott has conceded that the workload he gave Kobe Bryant was too much and that he should have gone with Bryant’s minutes limit that he had set for himself before the season.
Bryant was averaging more than 35 minutes per game before he took a three-game rest at the end of December and he was averaging more than 22 shots per game.
Prior to the season, the 36-year-old reportedly suggested that he should play up to 32 minutes per game, but Scott was confident that he could get closer to his career average and play in all 82 games as he came off the back of missing almost an entire year out injured.
While Bryant became more efficient with less minutes, Scott has now conceded that his lofty expectations were perhaps too much for him and that he will have to consider his options with the veteran moving forward.
“I thought his workload was too much,” Scott told reporters.
“He had a number and my number was higher. His number was right when I look back at it. I cut those numbers down and ever since then his efficiency has been so much better as far as the way he’s been playing and how he’s able to play. At the beginning, us getting on the same page and me getting to know him and what he could take and what he could stand from a minutes standpoint on a night to night basis was something I had to get used to. We both got a real good feel now and we just have to go from this point on. He has proven he has a lot left in the tank.”
Scott insists that he is now managing Bryant’s practices and game minutes moving forward as he also keeps one eye on keeping the veteran fresh for next year when the Lakers are expected to be more competitive after moves in free agency and in the Draft.
However, he admitted that it has been a learning process with Bryant this year and it appears as though the Lakers legend is ready to play as and when his coach believes he is ready.