One of the major subjects of this season has been how the Los Angeles Lakers will use Kobe Bryant, and the amount of minutes he should be playing. Byron Scott admitted that he overworked Bryant in the beginning of the season, and has recently scaled back Bryant’s minutes and given him games off.
Before the Lakers’ game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Byron Scott said one reason the Lakers are resting Kobe is because Bryant wants to go out ‘on a high note’ according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
ByronScott on Kobe, "He wants to go out on a high note. He doesn't want to limp out. That's why we're doing this (preserving him)"
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 16, 2015
Next season will likely be Bryant’s last in the league and Kobe, being the competitor that he is, does not want to look awful before he retires. Not only do athletes want to go out on their own terms, but they also want go out looking like they always have throughout their careers.
The sports is littered with players who played for so long that people forgot how great they were in their primes because the lasting image was of a lesser player in their later years.
Kobe doesn’t want to become that player. This season hasn’t been kind to him as his efficiency has dropped to career-low levels. However, he has changed his game in recent outings and that switch, in addition to this rest, could be the key to him having one more good season.
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