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Byron Scott Says Kobe Bryant Has Earned ‘Privilege’ to Shoot Whenever He Wants

Paul Moseley/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has made plenty of mystifying statements this year. He did it recently when talking about Kobe Bryant’s minutes, and Scott was at it again Monday when discussing Bryant’s shot selection.

Kobe went 6-of-22 in yet another Lakers loss on Sunday, dropping his field goal percentage to 33.1 percent on 16.6 shots per game. He went 0-of-5 from three to drop his three-point percentage to an even 20 percent on seven attempts per game. When asked about it, Scott basically said he was fine with Bryant firing away because of what he’s done over the course of his career:

So Scott complains that the team isn’t moving the ball enough and there’s too much isolation ball going on, but it’s okay when Kobe is the culprit because he’s had so much success in his career. It’s only a problem when the youngsters on the team do it.

Never mind Bryant’s horrible overall shooting percentages. Never mind that nearly two-thirds of his shots are either “very tightly” contested or “tightly” contested, per SportVU. Never mind that he’s fifth in the NBA in isolation frequency and shooting 25 percent in those situations, per Synergy. Never mind that about three-fourths of his shots are from 10 feet and out.

Scott also had issues with defensive mistakes, and he called out Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell by name. Bryant has been guilty of defensive miscues as well, but his name was never mentioned.

Scott threatened that if things don’t change, there will be tweaks to the lineup. But does anybody actually think Bryant will get benched if he continues his poor play? It’d be quite the shocker.

As Drew Garrison at Silver Screen and Roll noted yesterday, Scott set a dangerous double standard here. If he continues to let Kobe run wild while the youngsters are always pulled for mistakes, that could breed some resentment in the locker room. There needs to be at least a little accountability when it comes to Bryant, especially with him playing so poorly on both ends of the floor.

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