Lakers coach Mike Brown has made it known that resting Kobe Bryant is imperative to ensuring the team’s success this season. The reason was evident as Bryant recently followed up a four game stretch of scoring 40 or more points with just 38 points combined the next two games. While the Lakers lack a true number two scorer, Brown doesn’t see that as a valid reason for Kobe to tire himself out.

So, beginning with their next game, Brown plans to fine Bryant $5,000 for every shot attempt after 30.

“This shot tax is similar to the luxury tax levied on teams,” said Brown. “If Kobe goes over the shot cap of 30, he’s paying up. It’ll teach the team how to distribute the ball and not rely on one player.”

Bryant seemed to take a jab at his new coach after being told of the monetary penalty.

“When Phil came in, he actually had a game plan to spread the ball out: the triangle offense,” Bryant stated emphatically. “What good is it going to do, fining a player who’s trying to win games?”

The move by Brown has also drawn the ire of Forward Jason Kapono.

“It sets a precedent,” claimed the Long Beach native. “If I go on a hot streak and coach tells me I have to take less three-pointers, what can I do? That’s how I make my living.”

John Jenzeh