"Play him in the mid to low 20s, minutes wise, but you have to have some other horses to do that," LA Lakers coach Byron Scott revealed what would be the ideal final season for Kobe Bryant.
After Wednesday's practice, Scott spoke about Bryant, who was still presumed to be in surgery at the time. Scott said the surgery expected to start at 11 a.m. Pacific Time. The coach said he spoke to his star player the night before the operation.
"He was calling me to console me," Scott said Bryant wasn't struggling the night before. "He's texting me talking about 'Are you okay?' He's the one going in surgery tomorrow, not me."
Scott said the exchange fit in with the relationship between the two men, who both care about one another deeply. The coach also said he would check on Bryant later in the evening once the initial shock of the surgery had worn off.
Beyond Bryant, Scott also spoke about the return of Pau Gasol. The Spaniard won two titles with the Lakers before leaving for Chicago in the offseason, and the Chicago Bulls make their only visit to Staples Center on Thursday night.
"I think he's rejuvenated," Scott said about Gasol. "I thought here in LA, for whatever reason, he was getting beat up a lot. I thought it took a toll on him. I thought that's probably one of the main reasons he decided to go to Chicago."
Scott said that Gasol looked "totally different" since moving to Chicago, and Gasol's former teammates seemed to agree.
"A standing ovation," Scott said when asked what type of reception Gasol deserved from the Lakers' crowd. "This is a guy that was here that helped them win two championships. So I think he deserves that. I thought Pau was a great player when he was here."
Scott added, "I think fans should show him the respect that he deserves."
Notes: Nick Young did not practice and is considered questionable for Thursday's game against the Chicago Bulls.