Kobe after playing 36 minutes: ‘I’m barely standing up’

It certainly appears that Kobe Bryant's battle with Father Time is becoming a losing effort.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant is very much nearing the end of the road. If you want further evidence of that, just ask the five-time NBA champion how he felt after Sunday’s win over the Detroit Pistons.

Bryant played a season-high 36 minutes after logging 32 in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday. Kobe will have a game off to rest Monday night, and it sounds like he could use it.

“Right now, I’m barely standing up,” Bryant said after scoring 17 points against Detroit, per Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. “My back and my legs, man, it’s killing me. … I’m not looking forward to walking to the car right now. Seriously.”

Both Bryant and Lakers coach Byron Scott agreed that the team desperately needed a win to run its record to 2-8. Kobe shot just 6-of-19 from the field, but he did dish out a game-high nine assists.

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“We hadn’t won one at home,” Bryant said. “To lose another one at home would be disastrous.”

Scott said it might become a trend where Bryant plays heavy minutes in the first game of a back-to-back and then sits out the second. Given the way Kobe said he felt Sunday, you have to wonder if he should simply be playing normal minutes in the first game and sitting out the second regardless.

At age 37, Kobe is shooting just 32.6 percent from the field. He has been very critical of himself already, but that doesn’t make it better. He’s not really helping the Lakers, though Scott thinks he is in one respect. It would be a shock if this isn’t Kobe’s final season.

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