Kobe Bryant Minutes Watch Is Still On

HANG TIME WEST – The night Steve Nash returned from a fractured left leg, Kobe Bryant was asked to describe the 24 games with Nash sidelined by a fractured left leg.

“Tiring,” Bryant said.

He even repeated the answer an instant later, before another question had been asked, for emphasis.

“Tiring.”

An understandable read considering the 40.6 minutes per game he logged in Nash’s absence. Except that then Nash returned and nothing changed. If anything, actually, the fractional change that did occur was for the worst for whatever hopes Bryant had of being able to reduce his workload.

Bryant is playing slightly more in the four games since the Lakers got their preferred starting backcourt together. It is fine for now since he is the last guy to worry about with conditioning, and it is understandable in the moment as Bryant continues to deliver at a superstar level, but the playoffs remain the priority and it is fair to wonder how much he will have left in late April at this rate.

Bryant, at 34 years old, was tied with Joe Johnson for fourth in the league heading into Monday’s games, at 38.7 minutes, behind only Luol Deng (40.4), Kevin Durant (39.6) and Joakim Noah (39.5). Just as it was a concern with Mike Brown as coach, to where Brown said in the 2012 playoffs he worked Bryant too hard in the regular season, so too will it apparently be a storyline to watch under Brown successor Mike D’Antoni.

Bryant in the 24 games without Nash: 40.6 minutes.

Bryant in the four games since Nash returned: 40.8.

Bryant season-long average when Nash returned: 38.4.

Bryant season-long average today: 38.7.

And that was with the break of 31 minutes in the blowout win over the Trail Blazers on Friday. Otherwise, he went 44 minutes three games in a row.

Nash in the first two games: 25 minutes a game, though it’s a very skewed statistic since he went 34 in the opener and then only 16 before hurting the leg Oct. 31 at Portland.

Nash in the four games since the Dec. 22 return: 34.

Nash season-long average: 31.

D’Antoni is obviously trying to quickly scrape together enough wins to change the atmosphere, a notion that would have been unimaginable at the outset of the season. More specifically, he is trying to accelerate the transition to his system, and so Nash, who knows it better than any Laker thanks to his time with D’Antoni in Phoenix, went from not playing in seven weeks to playing 41 minutes the first game back.

The new coach is not going for a long adjustment period. Nash will get big minutes right away. Bryant will get very big minutes the entire way. The Lakers are playing catch-up. This may get even more tiring.

24 Comments

  1. Bob says:

    Question. i have a question for your question what would happen to international nba players like pau gasol and marc gasol?

    • TEAM USA says:

      LOL that would be stupid!. the team who would play team USA in a 7game series would be swept! no DOUBT! OVERKILL.

    • Question says:

      They would play for the World team, Just like LeBron and others will represent USA.

      The world team would have tryouts and pick their team from INTL NBA players and players who they think can compete.

      I’m telling you it would be something to watch!

      Tony Parker, Rubio, Ginobili, Dirk, Nash, Nene, Pau, Marc etc……

      vs

      LBJ, Kobe, CP3, Wade, Griffin….. etc

      There is enough world talent to compete against USA… if they are all placed on 1 team there is size and talent available to give a good series

  2. Question says:

    This is a Completely Unrelated Question, but I am ver curious to see what u guys think…

    I think there should be a 7 game series of USA v The World in basketball.
    Pretty much all the best players from around the world form a team and go head to head with the best of USA. I think it would be a sick series and that it wont be cake walk for the USA.

    Basketball fans what do u think?

  3. John says:

    He needs to do that cause he want the ball at all times hahaha

  4. Kb24 says:

    Now the team needs these minutes by Kobe and he provides and delievers as always. Not only the absence of Nash but the Blake’s one too, not to mention the bad record the Lakers still have. Maybe in the second part of the RS he could rest more if the team will improve (hopefully).

  5. killuabest says:

    Kobe is great and knows it.but Dumbtoni should think a better plan, and let some players play longer. Dumbtoni stil thinks like Couch Potato Head.

  6. wakenbake says:

    laker fan 2012. no easy games for lakers this season

  7. LMAO-WOW-that’s pretty impressive-a full 40hr week + 13 hrs overtime for how many million.

  8. Bok says:

    This only shows how much he loves the game and how much he likes to win. But the management (including D’Antoni) should manage Kobe’s minutes as the season’s still quite young and we want a healthy starting line-up and a deep bench coming to playoffs.

  9. Laker fan 2012 says:

    And he should take a rest on easy games.

  10. Laker fan 2012 says:

    And maybe rest at the end of the 1st quarter.

  11. Laker fan 2012 says:

    He should play the whole first quarter, rest for the first 3 minutes of the second. The first 7 minutes of the 3rd quarter and the whole 4th quarter unless they have a big lead.

  12. AJ says:

    this team is full of star players, kobe doesnt need to have that long minutes, he is overused, i think 33 to 35 minutes game will be ok.. ithink also no one in this team should play 40 minutes or higher due to their age..

  13. tor·ture (ˈtôrCHər) says:

    Noun
    The action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment.
    Verb
    Inflict severe pain on

    At the present average, Poor Mr Bryant will end up working 53 hours … for the season. OUCH !

    • Dieter says:

      Training is also working, all those tiring flights is also working, healing his body is also working, giving interviews is also working, not drinking and smoking is also working… He’s also 1 of the few players in the NBA that plays through injuries, if someone deserves his max contract in the NBA, it’s Kobe. And yes, he works alot for it.

  14. Max says:

    Only the Player, themself can control their playing time, because the Player knows or should know when their body has to have rest. A Coach can just guess, but any Player with enough IQ to play the game should be able to feel and control their need for rest. Different time required for each and ever person. After all one is the controller of their own need for rest.Kobe can say when he must come out of the game, Nash has set up those rules, he knows to overstay playing time will hurt in the 4th qtr. Body must have rest and the body will be the notifier, Kobe has to listen to his own health clock. Often seen Nash leave in 2nd qtr. I think “Oh he cannot come out just now” however he is the one that knows when rest over rides the desire to play. 4th qtr. one must be rested to close a game.

  15. Patty says:

    Kobe Bryant is a gifted player. The best in the NBA. We need Kobe Bryant in the NBA and I certainly hope he will not retire.

  16. BJ says:

    I can’t see Kobe keeping up his pace thru the whole season and then try to turn it up another notch or two come playoff time. Kobe will burn out and the Lakers will be ran off the court …. swept mabye. He’s saying he’s tired. so why would we think he had more in the tank to raise the bar during the playoffs? makes no sense. the Lakers better find some good chemistry and make some adjustments so Kobe doesnt have to play so many mintues night after night.

  17. Chester says:

    He needs 33 minutes or less to keep up any efficiency

  18. Lakers-R-Us says:

    And the plan at the beginning of the season was to reduce Kobe’s minutes. I don’t see that happening anytime soon. It doesn’t matter. He keeps playing at a high level anyway. He could play 48 minutes a game and never lose his focus, determination, and output.

  19. kevin nicholls INDIANAPOLIS says:

    kobe is a freak of nature, his conditioning is off the charts he comes to play at a high level ever game and plays through injurys and as long as he can lace up the kicks he will bring it 40 minutes at a high level, the lakers need to be watching gasols minutes.