Kobe Bryant will start in New Orleans, Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott confirmed on Wednesday morning.
Kobe Bryant will start tonight against the Pelicans. Byron: “Kobe’s good, he said he’s ready to go.” — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 21, 2015
Bryant last featured against LeBron James on Thursday and logged 19 points, 17 assists and six rebounds in a masterful performance. Then, he stayed home as his teammates traveled to Utah on Friday. He took another day off on Saturday. On Sunday, he came into the Lakers' practice facility for treatment but left for home before the Lakers even wrapped up their practice session. On Monday, he was not even in Phoenix, as the Lakers tumbled to a fifth straight loss.
On Tuesday, Bryant did not arrive in time to take part in the Lakers' practice in Phoenix, but he did board the team plane from Arizona to New Orleans. On Wednesday night, Bryant will play.
Without committing fully, Scott has hinted that Bryant also expects to play on Friday in San Antonio. Two office days per week has the 36-year-old on a schedule that makes most of his fans incredibly jealous. Not just that, Bryant's $23.5 million salary ranks highest in the NBA, a status Bryant has enjoyed for half a decade.
Byron said Kobe is probably still 10-15 games away from being “right.” That’s 10-15 games on minute limit, with rest in between. — Bill Oram (@billoram) January 21, 2015
Back to the business of Lakers' basketball on a Wednesday night, the New Orleans Pelicans feature one of the most exciting young talents in the NBA. One could easily argue Anthony Davis is the single most exciting young talent in the league.
Davis missed the past three games due to a toe injury, but the 21-year-old athletically gifted forward expects to start on Wednesday night. In two games against the Lakers this season, Davis averaged 24.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 1.0 steals. The Lakers lost both those games.
While Davis leads the Pelicans in points, rebounds, blocks and uni-brows, Jrue Holiday leads New Orleans in assists, steals and creative ways to spell names. The former UCLA Bruin averages 7.1 assists per game on the season, and he averaged 19.5 points and 6.5 assists against the Lakers in the teams' early two meetings during the 2014-15 season.
For Wednesday, however, Holiday's involvement is up in the air due to an ankle injury. The 24-year-old has missed the Pelicans' last four games with the issue. Similar to Holiday, Ronnie Price's status is also in question due to a sore elbow. If Price plays, Price will start. Carlos Boozer, who sat out Tuesday's practice with a left tricep contusion, will play.
The Pelicans and Lakers will get started in New Orleans at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.