Number-crunching Kobe Bryant's playing time
As I noted in my analysis regarding the Lakers' 112-100 win Wednesday over Sacramento, there was an incredible twist in that Kobe Bryant's 17th career triple-double coincided with him becoming the Lakers' all-time leader in minutes played, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record. Lately, the commentary regarding Bryant's high basketball mileage, with the odometer reading 37,527 total minutes, has led to concerns about fatigue and the rehabilitation of his surgically repaired right knee. But if the first five regular-season games have indicated anything, it's that Bryant will continue to flourish as long as he stays healthy.
The heavy playing time surely contributes to wear and tear on a body, but Bryant has shown he's found a way to fight through it.
Below are a few numbers regarding Bryant's playing time:
37,527: Total minutes Bryant has played
7,809: Total minutes Bryant has played in 198 postseason games
3,403: Minutes Bryant played in the 2002-2003 season, the most he played in a season
39.4: Minutes Bryant has averaged during the postseason. Since the 2000-2001 season, Bryant has averaged at least 40 minutes per playoff game.
36.6: Minutes Bryant has averaged during the regular season. Since the 2007-08 season, Bryant has played under 40 minutes per game. That partly coincides with the signing of Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol, and with the increased wear and tear on Bryant's body.
32: Minutes Bryant has averaged through five games this season as he's progressing on his surgically repaired knee.
2,932: Minutes Bryant is projected to play this season, figuring his 160 total minutes thus far and Coach Phil Jackson's contention that Bryant will average about 36 minutes per game going forward. That's not even figuring the 40 minutes per game he'll likely play in the postseason, however many games that is.
E-mail the Lakers blog at firstname.lastname@example.org.