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Mike Brown wants to cut back on Kobe Bryant’s minutes

Jan 17, 2012, 8:21 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Last season, Phil Jackson expressed frustration at not being able to get Kobe Bryant’s minutes below 33.9 a game — he didn’t want to wear him out, but sometimes he had to ride the hot hand.

This season, Kobe is playing 37.7 minutes per game, nearly four minutes more per game (with less time to rest between games). Only Luol Deng has played more minutes this season than Bryant.

So it’s not shocking to hear Mike Brown echoing what Jackson used to say — he’d like Kobe to play less. From the Orange County Register.

“I do want to get it down,” Brown said Tuesday….

Brown said he wanted to keep Bryant to 35 minutes against Dallas on Monday night, but the nature of the close game pushed Brown to play Bryant 38 minutes.

Sounds familiar. The question is will Brown get enough help from the other 11 guys on the roster to get Kobe that rest?

  1. newyorkstatus - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    foget about it! kobe seating? ? ha..its not gonna happen…maybe towards the latter part of the season

  2. brooklynbulls - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Mike Brown also said coming into the season that he wanted the offense to flow through the post (similar to the Spurs old Duncan/Robinson system), to utilize the talented 7 footers the Lakers have with Bynum and Gasol. I admired Brown for making the statement, but I knew Kobe wasn’t going for it despite saying all the right things to the media.

    From what I’ve seen, the ball needs to go in the post more, but Kobe still runs this team.

  3. zblott - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    The last time I remember an athlete this legendary playing this much in his mid-30’s and somehow getting better was Barry Bonds. Wait, what’s that you said last year Derrick Rose? You were asked about the steroids issue in the NBA and said “It’s huge, and I think we need a level playing field, where nobody has that advantage over the next person.”

    I’m not saying Kobe is juicing, but if ever there was someone who had the money and connections to get the untraceable stuff made in a lab, the ego/will to want to keep scoring a lot in order to catch MJ, and who is magically improving right on the heels of numerous injuries, it’s Kobe.

    • brooklynbulls - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      Son that is a HUGE stretch!! That accusation is completely unfounded and without merit, and this is coming from the anti-Kobe, I dont want him to catch up to MJ on anything, fan. Kobe has always been the ultimate competitor whose will and desire would fuel him to play on one leg if he had to. I do however respect this man more than any player not name D Rose. His willingness to compete, conditioning, work ethic and pure arrogance are more than enough to keep him producing and putting up his 100 or so shots per game.

      • zblott - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM

        “If 1 equals ‘What are PEDs’? and 10 equals ‘Everybody’s Juicing’…How big of an issue is illegal enhancing in your sport?”

        Derrick Rose gave the answer, “Seven. It’s huge, and I think we need a level playing field, where nobody has that advantage over the next person.”

      • zblott - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:09 PM

        Please let me know the last time an NBA player in his mid-30’s who’s had the amount of injuries Kobe’s had has actually improved.

        These are the exact same discussions baseball fans were just starting to have 15-20 years ago while other fans quickly shot them down since so-and-so is such a hard worker. It turns out there was an answer for just about all those mid-30’s magic shows that made no sense.

      • momo988 - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        Kobe is improving? His TS% and eFG% are down, his TRB is flat and his steal, block and turnover possessions are below his career averages. What’s different is that his usage and minutes are way up. Kobe has a career high usage rate.

      • zblott - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        @momo98 In case you didn’t know this, all of those stats for KB except for turnovers has improved in relation to the league (since the whole league has gotten worse as a result of lockout rust). It’s called context. You do know we’re talking about a 33 year old who just came off an experimental knee procedure that’s illegal in the US, right?

  4. brooklynbulls - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Lol zblott. U got it.

  5. goforthanddie - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    It’s not that damn hard. You just sit the guy down and work with what’s left. Maybe they can handle it, maybe not, but you’ll never know if you keep leaning on Kobe, will you?

    • makjak2 - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM

      And all the while they will be losing games. Bynum is already playing at a high level. Who else is he supposed to lean on, Lamar Od… oh right. Matt Barnes? The athlete formerly known as Ron Artest?

      • goforthanddie - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:04 AM

        So what, burn him out now, hoping to make the playoffs w/ a dead Kobe, or rest him, make the others pull some slack and earn their checks, and maybe have Kobe healthy and rested for when it’s needed? He’s already got sh!t knees, one wrist, and more guts than sense; if he isn’t going to do it himself, take the decision out of his hands.
        And yes, if it takes losing games to realize your non-Kobe players need to be replaced, then you do it. They’re 10-5, he’s played more than 35 minutes in all but one loss, so apparently his presence isn’t helping much.
        It’s not like it matters, this season is a joke.

  6. telergy - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Karl Malone, Age 38, 2001-2002 season, 38 mpg. 80GP. 17th season.

  7. jkidd25 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Not these 11 guys. Unfortunately, unless you get Howard and keep Gasol, you’re stuck with an aging roster and lack of skill… the only way to win is for Kobe to play big mins and score the rock.

  8. bearsstillsuck - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    I thought Kobe was the coach.

  9. omniusprime - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Mike Brown is an idiot who should never have been allowed to coach the Lakers. He is totally clueless about offense, but then he’s had two great players who can dominate an offense. Kobe is playing too many minutes early this season and it will catch up with him in the playoffs when the Lakers will need him the most on court. Kobe has to start to learn to trust his team mates and Mike Brown has to create an offense that pounds the ball into the paint for Bynum and Gasol. Bynum could be a great offensive force if he is given the chance. Too bad Brian Shaw isn’t the coach perpetuating the Triangle Offense that has won 11 championships in a little over 20 years. Maybe Mike Brown can figure out how to use the pick and roll.

    Kobe’s extra playing time this season just shows what a poor coach Mike Brown is on offense. Kobe is like a great race horse who will keep running until his heart gives out. We need Kobe to pace himself so he’s ready for playoff primetime.

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