The Los Angeles Lakers (12-27) have virtually no shot at qualifying for the postseason, but head coach Byron Scott continues to pretend that isn’t the case.
(They would have to go 35-8 the rest of the way for a chance at the eighth and final seed in the brutal Western Conference.)
Though he still hasn’t committed to shutting down Kobe Bryant, Scott says that “if” the Lakers aren’t in contention for a Playoff spot in March, then the organization will seriously consider shelving the superstar guard.
Kobe, 36, has struggled mightily with his shot — connecting on a career-worst 36.9% of field goal attempts — and missed six of the last twelve games to rest.
Per the LA Times:
“I’m pretty sure if we’re nowhere near playoff contention in March or something like that, then we might discuss that,” Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Wednesday. “But the plan right now is to continue to play.”
It makes sense to eventually shelve Bryant if they want to keep their top-five protected pick in the draft, but fan interest and ticket sales presumably slip if Bryant sits. […] “I don’t worry about that business [aspect],” Scott said. “I could care less about that, to be honest with you. That’s something that’s out of my control anyway. My main interest is him and this team.”
He will play Thursday against Cleveland and stay home for the Lakers’ game Friday in Utah, part of the plan to sit him for a game in every back-to-back situation. He seemed fine with it after scoring only 12 points in the Lakers’ 78-75 loss to Miami. […] “I’ll just follow [Scott’s] lead on that and try to get myself as ready as possible,” Bryant said.