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If Lakers want to shut him down, Kobe Bryant says he’d accept it

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts as the Lakers trail late in the fourth quarter to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Cavaliers won 109-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Byron Scott has acknowledged the Lakers could shut down Kobe Bryant if* the Lakers are out of playoff contention in March.

*”If”… hahahaha.

For now, Kobe is still playing – and sometimes still playing well. He even occasionally has new tricks up his sleeve.

But if it reaches the point the Lakers want to shut him down?

Kobe, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

“Seriously, I understand,” Bryant said. “I understand. It’s my responsibility to be ready every single night and when I step out there on the floor to give it my all. If they want to shut me down, if they decide to sit me out, I will do what’s asked of me. It’s that simple.”
“I will do what they ask of me, but it’s very, very hard for me to miss one game,” Bryant said Thursday after the Lakers’ 109-102 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center. “I’m not going to be here much longer, so the games that I play, I want to make sure that I’m playing and enjoying it and appreciating it.”

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Kobe is a proud player who seems to genuinely care about putting on good display every time he plays. I’m sure this is not how he envisioned the latter stages of his career going.

But after Scott had him on unsustainable minutes plan to star the season, this is reality.

We haven’t seen much of the defiant Kobe lately, and if he won’t put up a fight over the simplest issue – playing – it’s hard to see what would cause him to put his foot down. With retirement coming sooner than later, I’m not sure we’ll see that Kobe again.