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Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Sunday, 3 October 2010 13:26 UK

LA Lakers limit Kobe Bryant's role at 02

NBA Europe Live - Minnesota Timberwolves v LA Lakers
Venue: O2 Arena, London Date: 4 October Tip-off: 2000 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra and live on ESPN


NBA star Bryant loving life in London

By Rob Dugdale

LA Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant is likely to play only 15 minutes in total in Monday's game at the O2 Arena in London, says Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

Bryant is recovering from knee surgery and will have a limited role against Minnesota Timberwolves.

"It's going to be limited," said Jackson. "He'll probably play six or seven minutes in his first run and then see if he can play again after that."

Jackson, 65, also confirmed that this season would be his last as a coach.

"I'm calling it my last stand so that's it," said the former Chicago Bulls coach, who has won 11 NBA titles and is aiming to win three championships in a row for a fourth time.

Bryant told reporters after a practice scrimmage at Crystal Palace that he was pleased with his recovery so far but did not want to take any risks.

"There's no pain," he added. "I've just got to go easy on it - that's what the surgeon says.


"I'm not ready yet but I'm getting there. Today I felt a lot better."

Jackson described his star player as training "at a measured pace and in rhythm with his team-mates".

The coach added that the long trip from Los Angeles to London for the exhibition game would not disrupt his team's preparations for the 2010-11 season.

"It changes our schedule a little bit but I don't think it's enough to be concerned about," he said

"Our players are well enough trained to be able to deal with this. We'll find out about it after we get back."

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see also
Rambis plots LA takedown
03 Oct 10 |  Basketball
Bryant reveals football ambitions
03 Oct 10 |  Basketball
LA Lakers set to play in London
13 Apr 10 |  Basketball
Deng inspires Bulls to London win
06 Oct 09 |  Basketball
NBA boss reveals business game plan
06 Oct 09 |  Business
NBA eyes meaningful London games
06 Oct 09 |  Basketball
Bulls coach eyes NBA Europe teams
24 Sep 09 |  Basketball

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