Lakers Trainer Wants to Shut Down Kobe Bryant for a Few Games

by January 14, 2016

Kobe Bryant’s right Achilles is slowing down the 37-year-old legend, and some in the Los Angeles Lakers’ braintrust—namely, longtime trainer Gary Vitti—think he should sit out a handful of games.

As you might expect, though, it’s very unlikely that Kobe will agree to rest his weary legs for any significant amount of time.

Bryant is listed as questionable for Thursday night’s tilt with the Golden State Warriors, but he did make the trek to Oakland.

Per the LA Daily News:

The pain in Kobe Bryant’s right Achilles felt serious enough for him to leave the court in Tuesday’s win over New Orleans after logging only 16 minutes. The pain in Bryant’s right Achilles felt serious enough that Lakers coach Byron Scott reported head athletic Gary Vitti has suggested sitting Bryant for about one or two weeks. According to that timetable, Bryant would miss anywhere between four to seven games. […] “He would love to shut him down,” Scott said after Wednesday’s practice at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “But that probably isn’t going to happen.”


Bryant has not spoken to reporters since Friday’s loss to Oklahoma City when he first felt pain in his right Achilles. But he was at the Lakers’ practice facility on Thursday both to receive treatment and get a haircut. On Wednesday, Scott reported Bryant telling him he felt “much better” than when he left in the second quarter of Tuesday’s win over New Orleans and when he missed Sunday’s game against Utah. […] “That makes me feel better, but I’m still very cautious,” Scott said before referencing Bryant’s self-imposed pressure to play as many games in his final NBA season. “I know how he is. He wants to try to give the fans their respect as well. The biggest thing for me is we have to sit down and talk about minutes. Obviously he can’t play 30-32 minutes per game.”


But Bryant has averaged 30.4 minutes per game, which exceeds other star players in their 20th NBA season. That includes former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (22.9 minutes) and Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett (20.3 minutes). […] “My biggest concern is I want that man to finish the season standing up on the court and getting the respect he deserves,” Scott said. “He might hate me at the end of the season. But if it can get him through the season, it’ll be all worth it.”