Despite Kobe Bryant‘s insistence on playing through fatigue and injuries, head coach Byron Scott has not had a difficult time with Bryant due to his experience coaching elite players with such stubborn mindsets, writes Jovan Buha of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “I’ve had the privilege and the honor of coaching a few guys that I think are probably Hall of Famers in Jason Kidd and Chris Paul,” Scott said. “I haven’t had the opportunity to coach anybody at this magnitude — as great as Kobe is — but I have had that opportunity. It hasn’t really been an adjustment for me.” Scott expects Bryant, who was experiencing flu-like symptoms in Friday’s loss to the Spurs, to play against the Warriors on Sunday. “You’d probably have to amputate his leg for him not to play tomorrow,” Scott said at practice on Saturday.
Here’s more from Los Angeles:
- The Lakers assigned Jordan Clarkson and Xavier Henry to their D-League affliate, the D-Fenders, according to the team’s Twitter feed. To date, Clarkson has averaged 4.3 PPG in 11.4 MPG during eight games played in his rookie season. Henry, who will again become a free agent after the 2014/15 season, has averaged only 1.3 PPG in 8.9 MPG during seven contests.
- The Lakers will guarantee portions of their non-guaranteed contracts with Ronnie Price and Wayne Ellington, assuming they aren’t placed on waivers today. Price’s deal is set to become guaranteed for about $329K while Wayne Ellington is in line for a nearly $316K guarantee, as shown on our Schedule of Contract Guarantee Dates and as originally reported by Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Ellington is on an indefinite leave from the team as he mourns the murder of his father.
- The team had hoped Steve Nash would serve as a mentor and de facto coach for the young players on the Lakers, but Nash’s lack of presence at the team’s facilities has dampened that scenario, writes Bill Oram of the Orange County Register. Oram adds that Scott can’t even get Nash to return a phone call. “If my coach would have called me,” Scott said, “I definitely would have called him back.” Scott later clarified that he is not upset with Nash. “I’ll try him again when I get some more free time tomorrow or Monday or something like that,” Scott said. “I know he’s probably going through a tough time as far as trying to adjust to life without basketball at this particular point.” Nash was ruled out for the 2014/15 season and while many believe he has already played his last game in the NBA, he is technically not retired.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.