Mark Medina reports that Phil Jackson will not play Kobe Bryant more than 12 to 16 minutes per game during the Lakers’ two-game swing through Europe. The team takes flight today for London and Jackson took a moment to speak with reporters before heading off to catch the charter.
“We want him to be out there on the court and play. Whether it’s a six-to-eight minute run, or two of them, that’s what I’d prefer.”
Fully aware of how popular KB24 is in Europe, Jackson had previously jokingly referred to Bryant’s limited minutes as ‘Beckham payback time’.
Very much the opposite of Phil’s barb, Kobe always looks at playing in front of paying fans as a duty and not an option. He said as much when he was informed about how much PT he’d be getting in England and Spain.
“I’ve always been very adamant about not missing games. People spend their hard-earned money to come watch me play. You want to make sure you get out there and play.”
Initially it was thought that Bryant wouldn’t be able to play at all this early in camp as he was still recovering from his off-season knee surgery. Leave to Kobe to be ahead of schedule and ready to go despite being very limited in camp thus far. Andrew Bynum could learn a thing or two.