Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will reportedly sit out tonight’s season finale vs the Sacramento Kings to make sure that he has fresh legs for the playoffs, head coach Mike Brown announced earlier today.
It had previously been reported that Kobe would have some say over, whether he played tonight but it is hard to imagine Kobe voluntarily giving up the chance for another scoring title.
Kobe sitting means Thunder forward Kevin Durant clinches his third straight NBA scoring title, and becomes the first player since Michael Jordan from 1995-96 to 1997-98 to accomplish this. The 23-year-old Durant squeaked it out over Bryant by the slim margin of one-tenth of a percentage point, 28.0 to 27.9 points per game.
This decision, although probably not popular with Kobe, is prudent on Mike Brown’s behalf, because he will need everything he can get from Kobe especially in the first round of the Playoffs considering the Lakers will have to make do without Metta World Peace for most if not all of the first round.
The Lakers will play the Denver Nuggets in the first round, and they are one of the most up-tempo teams in the league. Having fresh legs for that series will be a must, because Ty Lawson‘s speed makes the Nuggets one of the most dangerous fast-break teams in the league. And lest we forget what happened to the Lakers last year against the speed of J.J. Barea and the Mavericks fast-break attack. The Lakers will need the freshest legs that they can get.