Kobe's shooting struggles not putting 'pretty defined' role in jeopardy

Stephen A.: Kobe should retire right now

Stephen A. Smith believes Kobe Bryant should hang it up and retire from the NBA right now.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said he has not considered reducing Kobe Bryant's minutes or role even though Bryant's struggles have continually worsened, hitting rock bottom Tuesday, when, in a 111-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Bryant tied the worst shooting performance of his career in any game in which he attempted at least five shots.

Against the Warriors, Bryant shot 1-of-14 from the field and scored four points. Bryant also shot 1-of-14 in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs last season.

On the season, Bryant is shooting a career-worst 31.1 percent from the field, and he is 2-for-21 from 3-point range in his past four games.

"I haven't thought about reducing his role," Scott said Wednesday at the team's practice facility. "I think his role is pretty defined for us right now. So is his minutes."

Bryant, 37, is struggling mightily in his 20th NBA season, during which he's averaging more shots (a team-high 16.4 field goal attempts per game) than points (15.2). Bryant is second on the team in minutes (30.5) to Jordan Clarkson (30.8).

Scott said he doesn't believe minutes are taking a toll on Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury.

"Maybe it is, but my opinion, watching him, I don't think so," Scott said.

Scott also said he's not counseling Bryant.

"I'm letting him try to find it for himself," Scott said. "He's been doing this for a long time. I'm not so much worried about Kobe. I am concerned about his shooting percentage and shots so far, but so far as knowing him the way I've known him and how long he's played in this league, I'm not worried about him finding it."

Other stars have taken on lesser roles later in their career, but not Bryant.

"I know his mentality is that he still feels that he can still play in this league, and we feel the same way," Scott said.

The Lakers are 2-12 and travel to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.