Calling for a franchise to fire a coach this early in the season seems rather premature. Then again, when a team is supposed to stink yet try to develop young players in the process, but having one’s ideas of the season contradict reality so much so that George Lucas would blush, it really isn’t. Enter: Byron Scott.
The Los Angeles Lakers are bad. Kobe Bryant is old. Old Kobe is never all that healthy. Old humans tend not to get healthier as they age. Jelly Bean Jr. isn’t going to find some fountain of youth. He will be older tomorrow. Los Angeles will continue to be bad this season because no matter how badly people want it, Kobe isn’t going to get better by way of magical powers or wants.
However, they do have some young, promising players who could really help the team in the future. Maybe even sooner if they’re developed correctly and, at least, not have their confidence shoved back down their own throats because ideology.
Finally, an issue which plays into both aspects of everything going forward is Byron Scott. A man who once denounced three-pointers, called Emmanuel Mudiay not a true point guard (which is no longer a thing/debate/worth talking about) and is a riddle much in the same capacity The Troll Who Lives Under The Bridge’s (Dora The Explorer) riddles are less riddles and more meaningless stop-gaps between things of importance:
Hell, it could even be said the two have striking similarities in philosophy. Like the Grumpy Old Troll, Scott goes out of his way to say things that make little sense. A fun, albeit scary example being the time he tried discussing developing the young players only to pull D’Angelo Russell out of a late-game situation because nothing says development of a young, potential franchise player like sitting them down during key points of a meaningless game of a long meaningless season.
Byron Scott has also discussed wanting to win. To be fair to him, that does happen to be his job. Much like it is The Grumpy Old Troll’s to prevent Dora from crossing the bridge without first answering one of his pointless riddles. Like The Troll’s not-so-hard riddles, Scott needs to be honest with himself and answer questions of understanding reality before thinking he’s wise enough to be implementing a strategy, plan or anything else that goes along with the future of the Lakers.
Sure, the winning talk can already be lip-service to fans, but his actions during games suggests he’s honest to goodness willing to forego long-term success for the sake of trying to win a game by way of the decomposing corpse that shoots roughly eleventy-billion times a game.
That’s simply a lite recap of Scott so far this season. He’s absurd because he’s created a riddle for himself to answer…except it isn’t as much a riddle as it being a preference over wanting to win now or develop for later. The latter doing him no good, as future success will likely happen long after he’s gone no matter what approach he takes.
Still, there’s no way to win now, so why fight so hard against the easy choice? Maybe that’s the actual riddle inside the riddle that’s Byron Scott. It could be as simple as his not even knowing the riddle. He could be the worst version of The Riddler ever…
So where does that leave Byron Scott? More importantly: Why does Byron Scott need to have this job going forward?
If he somehow makes it through this season, make no bones about it; it’s solely being done so the Lakers don’t need to pay two coaches during one season.
However, if Los Angeles is willing to simply put Scott under the bridge with The Troll, a new direction for this team can take place. One more rooted in reality and less in a fictional land where Scott isn’t worried about Kobe falling apart at the seams and sees no issue in the way he’s handled everything since he got the job.
The Lakers need not even go out and hire anyone, either. Not during the season, at least. Simply name an interim coach, tell him that the future is now, and scream “GO” or whatever fancy motivational words the Buss family has left in their craniums.
Obstacles do arise from firing Byron Scott. Namely, would it alienate Kobe Bryant? The answer should be: Who gives a flying beep — although everyone has come to, and needs to, realize the Lakers are going to see the end of Jelly Bean Jr. through no matter what. That said, Kobe honestly has no choice in the matter, as no other team in their right mind would want him at this point. Plus, really, there are ways to allow him to jack up his million shots while not alienating the young core of the franchise. Maybe try to play them separately as much as possible?
Eh, I digress.
The idea behind wanting Byron Scott fired isn’t so much so because of the awful season the Lakers are having and will continue to have. James Naismith could come back from the dead, with Coach K and Phil Jackson as his assistants, and the Lakers would still only win (max) 30 games this year. It’s more so because Scott has no idea what this team should be despite it being shoved in his face every night.
The Lakers have a young nucleus of guys — Russell, Randle, Clarkson — who may yet one day bring LaLa Land back to its glory days. However, it won’t happen anytime soon as Scott continues to stunt their development, allow Kobe to be Kobe (this doesn’t really change no matter who’s the coach), and lets late-game situations like what happened against the New York Knicks on Sunday unfold (too much Kobe, sitting Russell again, etc.).
Is early November too early to fire a coach? Only if his name is not Byron “Grumpy Old Troll” Scott.