I think its a little naive to assume that the extremely experienced and talented medical/training staff didn’t know they were taking a big risk by playing Kobe so hard. They knew, the coaches knew, the owners knew, and Kobe knew. Its a business. Business’s take huge risks everyday. There is an entire profession, risk analysis, based on the concept, and I’m sure the bean counters were consulted.
If the Lakers don’t make the playoffs this year, it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue (playoff revenue and merchandise). On a more personal note,D’Antoni’s only chance of keeping his job is making the playoffs. So…risks were assessed, and the gamble taken. They lost. They may not even make the playoffs. But there are many players, past and present, who have played stretches like this and survived.
So, while I would agree with you that it was a high risk, and probably unwarranted, move to overplay Kobe, I would disagree with you if you’re suggesting that they didn’t know the risk they were taking. They were knowingly exposing themselves, and Kobe, to an increased risk, however there is still some randomness and bad luck involved.
I will be brief. You have no information on Los Angeles and what they do. So both you and I can only speculate on what they knew and what they were prepared for. Every time someone steps on the floor (or off a curb as Tim Grover claims) someone takes a risk. It’s up to the people involved and players to work collaboratively to find risk and reduce it.
My post was to show not known risk but specific risk and ways to intervene. The only cog is the coach who in charged of winning for sometimes his own job preservation as you said.