We’ve written quite a lot about the dynamic duo of Kobe Bryant and Byron Scott and their part in the Los Angeles Lakers becoming the biggest NBA joke west of Philadelphia. However, their most recent antics are worth two or three more paragraphs.
One of the most interesting things to come out from the 111-77 loss at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, with the Lakers falling to 2-12, their fourth consecutive loss on their worst offensive performance of the season (shooting 37.8% from the field and 15% from beyond the arc), is Nick Young having enough of Bryant and his on court antics.
Serena Winters reported Young said the following things in reference to Bryant, without mentioning his name: We can’t let one guy determine everything. We have to play as a team. It can’t be like a video game & you’re playing w/ your favorite player, you know? We’ve all got to share the ball.
Bryant shot 1-of-14 to finish with 4 points, making one of his seven 3-point attempts. This is the same Bryant who keeps talking about stepping back and deferring to the younger players. But Bryant can’t help himself. A challenge like the Warriors brings out the worst in him. The shooter who doesn’t see anyone but himself. He talked about being frustrated and losing his mental focus, but Bryant has had so many games like this one during this season, leading him to shooting barely over 31% from the field.
So if this is him losing his mental focus, what were the other games? His 4-of-22 from the field in the previous loss? His complete ignorance when it comes to the existence of other players, even though he knows pretty well that the more he shoots the less likely the Lakers are to win a game? Young isn’t exactly mister efficient or the king of sharing the ball, but if Bryant is the mark for everyone to follow, it’s not surprising to see everyone, including Jordan Clarkson, playing hero-ball. D’Angelo Russell? He wasn’t that bad, but the genius instincts of Scott left him off the floor in the fourth quarter.
Comedy or tragedy, the Lakers have truly become a spectacle of the worst kind in so many minutes of their games thanks to a head coach who seems focused on defending why he’s not giving minutes to the team’s top rookie and even more viciously defending the free hand he’s given Bryant in destroying every possession with his pathetic attempts to latch on to greatness that’s long gone. Not that Bryant really needs it, but any coach with decent eyesight can see that nothing good happens from having him on the floor. In short, even the optimistic Lakers fans are losing hope that this season will bring some pleasant moments or Bryant will mellow and be a logical player in his retirement (hopefully) year. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, and the two usual suspects are to blame.