Kobe Bryant misses Lakers vs. Warriors for rest

Ball Don't Lie
Dec 15, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (8) walks up the floor in a game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana Pacers defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 110-91. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 15, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (8) walks up the floor in a game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana Pacers defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 110-91. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite playing at 36 years of age, Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant has taken on a massive workload for his team this season, taking part in the first 27 games at an average of 35.4 minutes (15th in the NBA) with a 36.4 usage percentage (tops in the league) even though the 8-19 Lakers are often out of games in the fourth quarter. Bryant's workload is unprecedented for a player of his age, and it's not surprising to find out that he hasn't been helping the team much. Kobe has been shooting the team out of games, has complained of not having his legs in those moments, and his PER is his worst since his rookie year (not including last year's truncated six-game campaign). He's looked like a guy in need of rest for several weeks, if not longer.

Head coach Byron Scott has finally answered those calls. Bryant will sit out Tuesday night's home game against the West-leading Golden State Warriors, and it looks like this could be a recurring theme for Kobe as the season continues. Here's Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report on Twitter:

Yahoo's own Marc Spears reported Sunday that this plan looked like a distinct possibility. It's a good idea for the future of the Lakers, both because Kobe is not succeeding at his current work rate and because the team's other players figure to benefit from playing in an offense that isn't so dependent on his high-volume scoring.

That's not to say that Bryant should welcome the decision as an overwhelming positive at this point in his career. We've said before that this Lakers season is less about the team's performance than its star's pursuit and capture of various records and milestones, the most notable of which occurred last Sunday when Kobe passed Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Sitting out with any regularity could extend Kobe's career, but it could also keep him from piling up points before age robs him of more of his athleticism.

This is the right move for all parties, at least in this particular case. However, it's important to note that the priorities of Kobe and the Lakers may not align forever. If Kobe wants to continue his pursuit of records, the team may eventually decide it's not for the betterment of the franchise.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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