Paul Pierce jokes Kobe Bryant will struggle to accept reduced role
Now 38, Paul Pierce knows that he simply won’t be able to play the minutes he did when in his prime. He’s comfortable with that, and he understands that the ultimate goal is realistically for him to be healthy and ready to go when playoff time comes. However, Pierce is not sure about a certain other NBA veteran who may also find his role downsized this season.
“That will be tough on some guys in L.A. to take on that role – cough, Kobe, cough,” Pierce said in an appearance on the Fred Roggin Show on Los Angeles’s Beast 980. “I mean, you know, but um, we get older.”
Pierce is making a joke here, but he’s also raising an entirely reasonable question. Bryant is 37 now with a growing injury history, and realistically, the Lakers would be wise to protect their superstar wherever possible. Bryant, however, will definitely want the ball in his hands as much as he can. He’ll be surrounded by a team with a lot of promising young players, and it’s an open question as to how the accomplished superstar in the twilight of his career will cope with the growing pains of the young core around him.