Kobe Bryant scored 31 points on Sunday, adding 12 assists and 11 rebounds as the beleaguered Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors in overtime. But it wasn’t just that extraordinary performance that made Bryant text Lakers head coach Byron Scott that he was out for practice/shootaround Tuesday morning. It’s the entire draining season that forced Bryant to rest his weary veteran’s bones. The 36-year-old has been leading the Lakers in shot attempts while averaging nearly 36 minutes a game. That means Bryant is sitting the equivalent of just one minute per quarter.
The current pace will be tough to maintain, especially if the Lakers can’t get out of the losing habit. Bryant has been Sisyphus all season, pushing the rock up the hill only to have it fall back down on him. He’s shooting less than 40% from the field. A slightly better rested Bryant is expected to play Tuesday night against the woeful, lazy Detroit Pistons. So his time off in total will amount to a single morning shootaround. If it’s enough Bryant may start skipping most of them.