Bryant missed majority of season last year with knee injury…
Los Angeles Lakers Coach Byron Scott insists that he will try to manage Kobe Bryant better this season in order to help the veteran avoid any further injuries.
The 36-year-old is looking to have a significant impact this season after missing the majority of last year with a knee injury, while he was absent for a prolonged spell due to an Achilles tendon tear prior to that too.
While it remains to be seen whether or not Scott is able to convince the veteran to slow down his training in order to preserve his energy for the entire season and avoid further injury setbacks, he will hope to have him available for the most part.
“Yeah, Kobe’s his own man. We know how hard he works, we know how driven he is. 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,” Scott said, according to Pro Basketball Talk.
“There might be some games where you can’t play this game or that game. But that’s all to be determined. We have to sit down before training camp and go over some things because I can’t have him going twice a day in training camp. That’s what the young guys are supposed to do. He’s been here long enough and understands his game better than anybody here, what it takes to win. I got to use that knowledge that he has as well. I’m going to treat him like he’s an assistant coach as well as a player.”
Bryant played in just six games last season before fracturing a bone in his knee, but he appears ready to make his comeback after a long rehabilitation process and intense training since.
Nevertheless, many blamed his injuries on former Coach Mike D’Antoni after he forced extensive minutes on Bryant and despite his competitive nature making him an important factor in those games, it undoubtedly took a toll on his body as a result.
The Lakers legend played more than 47 minutes in three of the six games before his final appearance in 2013, playing all 48 minutes on the second night of a back-t0-back the game prior to suffering the injury.
As a result, many have argued that there is a direct link between the two, and it will now be up to Scott to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself and Bryant is able to play an influential role in the last few years of his playing career.
The Lakers have added the likes of Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer in free agency along with rookie Julius Randle, while Nick Young is one of a number of players who were re-signed.
While it isn’t expected that the franchise will make a deep playoff run, the minimum expectation with Bryant back in the picture will be to make the post-season and see what they are capable of thereafter.