The Los Angeles Lakers finally came face to face with the fact that Kobe Bryant will no longer be the face of the franchise next season. With a heartfelt and emotional goodbye to the NBA and basketball fans, the Black Mamba disclosed his plan of retiring from the league. Bryant cited his health and age as the reasons for his decision - a move that some sports analysts and critics have been clamoring for since the NBA regular season started. As basketball stars like Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, and Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James pay tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers star, some members of the Russell D'Angelo squad remain reluctant to accept his retirement.
One of the most outspoken supporters of Bryant is Byron Scott. The head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers has been repeatedly urging to bench the Black Mamba and allow other team members to take over his post in the hardwood court. However, Scott refused these suggestions and stuck with having Bryant as a starter - much to the chagrin of the NBA fans and even Nick Young.
"I have not considered that yet," said Scott on the question regarding lessening the number of minutes of Bryant in court, according to Los Angeles Times. The head coach added, "It's too early in the season. I think he's averaging about 30 minutes a game. He's still getting plenty of rest. I don't think so -- maybe [he] is, but in my opinion watching it, I don't think so."
While Scott is optimistic on Bryant's chances of improving, the head coach is also aware of the issues surrounding the Black Mamba's performance. He said, "Obviously he's struggling right now with his shot. In the last few days, he said he feels great. I don't think it's a matter of him being tired, or his legs behind tired, I think it's just a matter of his timing being a little off."
"Trying to find the right combination is probably the tricky part. I'm letting [Bryant] try to find [that balance] for himself. He's been doing this for a long time. I'm not so much worried about Kobe. I am concerned about his shooting percentage and his shot so far, but as far as knowing him the way I know him, and how long he's played in this league, I'm not worried about him finding it," Scott further noted.
Given his faith in Bryant's abilities, it comes as no surprise that Scott is one of the few people who believe that the Black Mamba will come back soon. Presumably taking cue from Michael Jordan's move to get back in the hardwood court after his retirement, even Roy Hibbert and D'Angelo reportedly forsee Bryant pulling off the same stunt.