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Kobe Bryant benching in competitive game is puzzling [Video]

Times reporter Mike Bresnahan discusses Coach Mike Brown's decision to leave the star player on the bench for four of the last six minutes of the Lakers' 102-96 loss to Memphis.

March 26, 2012

Superstar Kobe Bryant spent four of the last six minutes of the Lakers' 102-96 loss to Memphis on Sunday sitting on the bench, a move that Times reporter Mike Bresnahan tells CineSport's Noah Coslov was "very surprising."

Bresnahan, who has covered the Lakers for eight years, says he cannot remember Bryant spending that much time on the bench during a competitive game.

Bryant was taken out of the game with 5:45 to play and the Lakers down, 93-79. He remained on the bench with his left hand tucked under his chin while Coach Mike Brown left Metta World Peace on the floor. Even fans took notice, with one yelling, "Where's Kobe?!" and others chanting, "Ko-be, Ko-be." 

He reentered with 1:51 to play and the Lakers still trailing, 98-89.

It was all very surprising, indeed. After all, Bresnahan points out, Brown has been with the team less than a season; Bryant has been a Laker for 16 years.

Bresnahan also looks ahead to Derek Fisher's return to Staples Center as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night, calling it the Lakers' biggest regular-season game since Shaquille O'Neal's first game in L.A. as a member of the Miami Heat in 2004.

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Benching of Kobe Bryant in competitive game is puzzling [Video]

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