Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott lambasted his team Tuesday night after losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in blowout fashion, 103-81. Scott is less than pleased with the effort he’s seeing from his team as Kobe Bryant plays out the final games of his career.
“It bothers me that his last five, six, seven, eight games are going to be with the way we’re playing as a team,” Scott said, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN. “That bothers me, because you’re talking about a champion. That bothers me, because he is a champion. And I hate to see him go out this way. Unfortunately this is the way it’s going to be.
“It bothers the hell out of me that somebody who’s given 20 years to this league and has played through broken fingers, come back from the Achilles, come back from the shoulder surgery, and he still goes out there and gives it everything he has, that bothers me.”
It’s a valid complaint.
But one could make an argument that the entire season has been like this.
The Lakers are now 16-61. You don’t win just 16 games because you have a bad roster. That’s lack of effort staring you right in the face. Not only that, but Scott is responsible for how his team has performed and he’s just as culpable for the dysfunction that has been allowed to fester.
Scott has done a poor job all year of fostering a young, immature team as Bryant’s farewell tour has taken center stage. He strangely withheld minutes from Russell earlier this year and then snapped when Clippers broadcasters called him out on it. He then actually followed their advice shortly afterwards.
To be fair, Scott, Bryant and Metta World Peace have all tried to instill a desire in the young roster to be great and give great effort all year long.
“I think I’ve said this before, it’s a shame that Metta and Kobe, guys up in age like that, they come out and play that hard,” Scott said. “And our young guys aren’t realizing that’s how they have to play as well to be successful in this league as well. I would love for our guys to play like Metta, because when he goes out there he gives it everything he has on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end.”
But to this point nothing has worked.
That’s on the head coach. It’s hard to find any reasonable scenario in which Scott remains the head coach next year and beyond. Clearly he hasn’t been able to reach the young players on the roster, and the Lakers need to find someone who can.