A knee injury that might or might not be serious and maybe a call back to his injury during his season with the New York Knicks could mean that Jeremy Lin has played his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers and more importantly, his final game under the coaching of Byron Scott.
The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t lose to the Denver Nuggets because Jeremy Lin didn’t play; they’ve been losing with or without him, left or right, to everyone in recent games. But it was a continuation of a long low point of this season, in which it seems the rift between Scott and his remaining players couldn’t be greater. Not that everyone hates him, but they’re not getting anything out of him.
Assuming the injury isn’t something too serious with lasting effect beyond the remaining week or so of basketball, it simply takes away an opportunity for Lin to impress just before he hits free agency. After doing well after getting back his starting role, he’s been more than a bit unlucky with injuries and illness.
But back to Scott, and the bleak future for the Lakers, if he stays. Scott has been busy doing one thing, or maybe two, this season: Sucking up to Kobe Bryant while completely misjudging his ability to handle a workload that simply doesn’t fit a 36-year old player after a couple of serious injuries late in his career, and blaming everyone but himself on why the Lakers have been bad this season.
Nothing guarantees the Lakers have a much better roster next season. There isn’t exactly a horde of players just waiting for a call from Mitch Kupchak. No one is waiting in line to play for Byron Scott, or next to Kobe Bryant.
The fading embers of Scott’s career have been extinguished. Instead of trying to rejuvenate it by connecting with his players and teaching them some offense. Developing players. Improving them. You know, something a coaching staff and especially the head coach are supposed to do.
But this isn’t Lin’s problem anymore. He leaves, or is just about to, a dysfunctional empire that doesn’t seem to know how to get back on course. Byron Scott, it seems quite clear to everyone, isn’t part of the road back to success.