Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has claimed that Kobe Bryant has earned the right to continue taking shots during his recent poor run.
Bryant is shooting a career-worst 33.1% this season and made just six of his 22 shots as the Lakers lost 107-93 to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.
The 37-year-old has been repeatedly criticised for his shot selection, but Scott has no intention of asking the veteran to alter his game.
"It could be, but first of all, he's had 20 years of experience in the league," Scott told reporters when asked whether Bryant's shot-selection is forcing more isolation play. "We might not have six players that have 20 years in this league combined. He has that privilege, basically.
"From a coaching standpoint, I want Kobe to be Kobe. Other guys haven't earned that right yet. So when it gets to their hands and it's sticking and you're a first-, second-, third-year player, you haven't earned that right yet."
The Lakers will search for their third win of the season against the undefeated Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.