Kobe Bryant: Perfect time for All-Star break as 'everything' aches

CLEVELAND -- Lakers star Kobe Bryant didn't mince words about the state of his oft-injured 37-year-old body entering the All-Star break.

"[I] feel horrible," he said Wednesday after playing his final game in Cleveland, a 120-111 loss to the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. "My ankles, knees, everything. This stretch couldn't come at a better time. My ankles hurt. My knees hurt. So I'm looking forward to having a complete week where I just do nothing."

Bryant scored 17 points on 5-of-16 shooting in 33 minutes against the Cavaliers.

Later, when Bryant rose from his chair after a postgame news conference, he groaned, "Oh my god." He then gingerly walked toward a nearby door after sitting for nearly 12 straight minutes.

Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury, announced his plans to retire this summer after his 20th NBA season.

He was selected by fans to start for the Western Conference in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto on Sunday. It was Bryant's 18th selection to the All-Star Game, the second-most behind fellow Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 19.

Bryant is expected to have a busy schedule leading up to the game, considering it's his last All-Star Game, but he said he'll work to manage his time carefully to help preserve his body.

"It is busy, but it's also very selective," he said. "There's certain things that we'll do that's short bursts of appearances, but nothing too long, nothing where I'm on my feet for long periods of time. It's also the last one, so I try to enjoy it as much as I can. But it's no running, it's no pounding, it's none of that stuff. It's rest with plenty of ice baths in between."

Lakers coach Byron Scott said he has spoken to Bryant about getting some rest during the break.

"It's going to be almost 24-7 [for him]," Scott said. "I'll probably go to bed at night wondering if he's getting any sleep at all and how he's going to feel for the next day."

Scott said he trusts San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who is coaching the Western Conference All-Star team, to play Bryant sparingly.

"I know Pop is good," Scott said. "So I know he'll handle it."

Bryant is a four-time All-Star MVP -- in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011 -- tying him with Bob Pettit for the most all time. He dispelled any notion that he'll be gunning for MVP honors during the All-Star Game.

"Why?" he said. "I'm good. I'm good. I'm good.

"I'll make a couple jump shots and try to play the best I can, but I'm OK."

In terms of what he wants to take from him his final All-Star Game, Bryant said he just wants to be around fellow players.

"Seriously, this is crazy," he said. "Twenty years for me, that's more than half my life playing in the NBA and being in the locker room and looking [at] Steph Curry like, when I first came in the league, I literally could've babysat this guy.

"And Klay Thompson, I knew Klay when he was a young kid. And seeing the different generations, I'll be able to sit in the locker room and seriously just look at it all and smile and take it all in. This is truly amazing to be here after all these years and seeing so many young players come. This is cool, man."

Bryant also recounted his first All-Star Weekend held in Cleveland in 1997, when he became the youngest slam dunk champion at 18 years old. He also played in the Rookie Challenge for the West team, coached by Red Holzman.

"I remember walking around the hotel, I remember walking around this arena and just running into great after great after great after great after great," he said. "And I grew up watching all of these players. So I watched all the classic videos, the films, the books. To see these players all walking around, it was pretty amazing. Pretty amazing. To be coached by Red Holzman, that was as cool as it gets."