Kobe Bryant’s nightmare became reality. He sat out the game the Los Angeles Lakers should have lost.
Head coach Byron Scott made the decision to rest Bryant who complained about being tired.
The decision was telling: The struggling Lakers, who are now 9-19 this season, beat the best team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, 115-105.
Lakers guard Jeremy Lin said it best — with what he didn’t say.
“We learned a lot about ourselves,” Lin said via LakersNation.com.
Would you like to elaborate on that Jeremy?
“I think we learned, ah. (Insert sound of crickets.) I would say it’s just another stepping stone.”
Kobe Bryant is a legend. He’s the NBA’s third all-time leading scorer, a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA MVP, and a 16-time All-Star.
He’s the highest-paid player in the league. He’s also 36-years-old and trying to shake off the rust from injuries.
This season, the statistics are telling. The Lakers have performed better when Bryant is off the court.
Consider these numbers from the game the Warriors (23-4) should have won:
- The Lakers led by as much as 24 points, their biggest lead of the season.
- The Lakers tied their season high with 28 assists and 12 three-pointers.
Sure, it’s just one game. But there are lessons to be learned.
Lakers guard Nick Young had this message for Bryant:
“Pretty much going to have to tell Kobe to pass me the ball, pass us the ball,” Young said via ESPN. “Tell him to take the backseat for a little bit. He can be ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ and I can be Miss Daisy and drive.”
Bryant will sit out the Lakers game against the Chicago Bulls on Christmas due to soreness.
The outcome of that game may dictate the writing on the wall.