If you’re a fan of dysfunction, let me introduce you to Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott, someone who believes his awful ideas are somehow helping a franchise in transition.
Scott accepted the Lakers job in 2014 knowing he wasn’t working with much. When a broken leg ended Julius Randle’s rookie campaign during the season opener, an aging Kobe Bryant highlighted a thin roster before an injury sent the legend to the bench, too.
Nevertheless, Los Angeles actually had a couple things go right. Rookie Jordan Clarkson emerged as a starter, and the lost season ultimately resulted in the No. 2 overall pick. The Lakers selected D’Angelo Russell, a promising combo guard and potential future face of the franchise.
Since Randle would return from his injury, Los Angeles essentially had a chance to see two highly drafted rookies during the 2015-16 season.
Of course, that involves the duo actually being on the court, and now their playing time is in question.
Scott recently elected to bring Russell and Randle off the bench. The move itself isn’t awful, because soon-to-be-retired Kobe doesn’t pass the ball. The young talents were wasting energy alongside the veteran.
However, consequent to Scott’s latest brilliant idea, the demotion has basically turned into a benching on a 3-18 team.
Byron Scott said he envisions D’Angelo Russell & Julius Randle playing 20-25 minutes for the foreseeable future as they come off the bench.
— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) December 8, 2015
The biggest question is how Scott thinks 20-25 minutes per night is helping to develop the franchise’s future. Russell is regularly making ridiculous passes, and Randle has flashed promising signs as a post player.
Plus, they’re not in the same lineup as Clarkson. The team’s post-Kobe starting lineup certainly includes the trio, while Lou Williams once again settles into a role as the sixth man.
To make matters worse, though, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reported Scott said he hasn’t discussed the demotion with either player because the NBA is a “big boys league.”
Perhaps Scott should be a big boy and have an uncomfortable discussion with Randle and Russell about the reasons for the decision. After all, they —not Scott — are the future of the Lakers.
Instead of letting the young stars develop, Scott has turned himself into the story, and each chapter is only getting worse. Scott is the author of the book, yet he refuses to change the ending.