'Really angry' with himself, Kobe Bryant granted practice day off

ByBaxter Holmes ESPN logo
Tuesday, November 3, 2015

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A day after calling himself "the 200th-best player in the league right now" and saying "I freaking suck," a struggling Kobe Bryant was given the day off from Lakers practice Monday because he was "really angry" with himself, Lakers coach Byron Scott said.

"I said, just stay away from the gym today," Scott said after the team's practice at their facility here. "Just spend some time with your kids and family and get basketball off your mind for 24 hours if you can -- which I don't think he can -- and then come in tomorrow fresh and we'll go from there."

Bryant is averaging 17.3 points but on 31.3 percent shooting from the floor, including 20.7 percent shooting from 3-point range.

"I just can't make a shot," Bryant said after Sunday's loss to the Dallas Mavericks, during which he missed 12 of 15 shots while scoring 15 points.

Scott said Monday that he's fine with Bryant's shot selection and that he's not concerned with Bryant in general.

"He's going to get to the Kobe that we know," Scott said. "It's just three games into the season. It's still very early."

"We're going to keep feeding him. ... He's in the gym 24-7. It's not that he's not putting in the work," rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell said. "It's just, the basketball gods aren't blessing him right now with making shots. But they'll fall. Then we won't be having this conversation."

Added Scott: "He's frustrated. ... He's just one of those guys that he expects a lot more out of himself than most people. He's very hard on himself."

Scott also said that he doesn't expect the 37-year-old Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury, to play in all 82 regular-season games this season.

"I think if we can get him to 60-something [games], I think that would be great," Scott said.

When asked when Bryant would sit out games to rest, Scott said he didn't know.

"I haven't really looked at the schedule for those rest games," Scott said. "I'm just taking it one game at a time right now."

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