Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant recently joined Patrick Bet-David at the 10th annual PHP Agency Convention in Las Vegas for a wide-ranging interview. Amid their discussion, the Black Mamba made it clear that he is opposed to what has become known as “load management” in the NBA.

In today's NBA, it's not uncommon to see star players taking a night off for rest. To some, this has become a reasonable strategy. Bryant, however, was never one to take a night off — not even with an ailing back:

“What the hell is that?” Bryant said, referring to load management. “I don't know what that is. That's crazy.

“You'e got a lot of people paying their hard-earned money to watch you perform,” the Lakers legend added. “It's your job to be in shape. It's your job to perform at that level every single night. And as a competitor, I'm not duckin' shit. Like, it's not, ‘Oh, my back hurts. I'm sore. We gotta play Vince Carter and the Toronto Raptors tonight.'

“We had a game against Toronto in 2000, and Vince was tearing the league up,” Kobe recalled. “My back was jacked. But the perception of that, Kobe is missing a game against Toronto and Vince Carter…

“Man, my back was really having spasms,” Bryant said. “But people would have looked at me like, ‘Oh, he's duckin' Vince.' Excuse me? No, I don't think so.

“So I would be in the layup line like, ‘Okay, there are a lot of days when you can rest and recover. Today ain't one of them. He's gonna have to see me today.”


Kobe Bryant's competitive nature willed him through the pain, but not everyone has that same drive. Resting players has become a part of today's game, and it will likely continue into the future until the league feels the need to make a change.