Monday, April 25, 2016

LOS ANGELES, California - The Los Angeles Lakers parted ways with head coach Byron Scott yesterday when the organization decided to not pick up his team option for the 2016-2017 season. Coaching in the NBA has always baffled me. The last two seasons the Lakers have gone 21-61 and 17-65, respectively, under Scott. There is no question that those numbers are far from optimal and much below the standards that the Lakers franchise has come to expect. But is it really the result of Byron Scott’s coaching and his philosophies? Or, more realistically, is it a personnel thing, and Scott is just the fall guy? While it may have a touch to do with the former, I am betting on the latter.

The Lakers’ roster over the last two season has been, for lack of a better term, a complete clusterfuck. Putting aside the Kobe Bryant injuries and then the farewell tour, what exactly did Byron Scott have to work with over the last two campaigns? Jordan Clarkson? Nick Young? Roy Hibbert? A combination of Red Auerbach and John Wooden could not have taken the Lakers to the Playoffs in either of the last two seasons. Hell, Dr. James Naismith would have failed as well. So why is Byron Scott taking the hit for the Lakers’ lack of success? Because that is what you do nowadays in the NBA. If your personnel sucks, fire the coach. Have a star that’s unhappy, fire the coach. In 1st place in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star break, but Lebron says to, fire your coach. It is like a never ending carousel that is becoming almost laughable. Tom Thibodeau had the Chicago Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference for a few years, but just could not get over that ever elusive hump to get his team into the Conference Finals. So Chicago fires Thibs and hires an unproven college coach out of Iowa State. The result? The Bulls do not even make the goddamn Playoffs with Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler and Derek Rose on their roster in a less than mediocre East. So then Thibs sits out a year, and now he’s the guy who is going to bring the Minnesota Timberwolves, and all of their young talent, to the Promised Land.

With the manner in which the Buss Family has been operating the Lakers over the last few years, Byron Scott was nothing but a lame duck in that head coaching position. He did not have the tools to win at this time, and there was no way that they (the Lakers organization) were going to give him an opportunity to re-build. Because then, people may get wise and start questioning management’s choices with the franchise. Can’t have that, can we? No sir. So let’s fire the coach and make it look like it was his fault. Then we will bring in a fresh face and everyone will forget about the fact that D’Angelo Russell is our franchise player for the moment. We will bring in a guy like Luke Walton, and all will be good. Hey, look what he did with the Golden State Warriors while head coach Steve Kerr was out. He must be a fantastic coach! Never mind the fact that we don’t have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. It was Walton doing all of those good things, not his star players, of which we have none of.

Byron Scott will take the fall for the Lakers’ downward spiral over the last two seasons, he will sit out next year, and will then be the savior to his next franchise. Instead of focusing on his Lakers’ tenure, which was not his fault, teams will highlight the season in which he went 52-30 with the Nets, or 56-26 in New Orleans. And the carousel will continue to turn.