Kobe Bryant has been struggling for the Lakers, but Byron Scott’s thoughts on the situation are more troubling than anything
Kobe Bryant playing poorly to start the season for the Los Angeles Lakers isn’t something that’s even remotely secretive. At the start of his 20th year in the NBA, Kobe has been astonishingly inefficient shooting the ball and, in a broader sense, has been a ball-stopper in the offense who kills any of the scarce ball-movement in the Lakers offense.
After Bryant jacked up 22 shots in Sunday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers while only converting on six of those attempts, Lakers fans couldn’t do anything but lament how harmful Kobe’s high-volume shooting has been to the greater good of the team. It’s apparent to almost everyone watching these games, except for head coach Byron Scott.
On Monday, Scott was specifically asked by the media about Kobe’s inefficient shooting and isolation-based offense and how that affects the offense as a whole. The Lakers head coach responded in possibly the most troubling manner possible, saying that Kobe had earned the right to do that:
With reports coming out after the loss that Scott’s unwillingness to call out Kobe was being considered the “elephant” in the Lakers locker room, then this had to go over horribly within the team. The head coach of an NBA team is saying that it’s okay that player is essentially killing our team because he’s been playing in the league for a long time. How does that even follow the most wacked-out logic?
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There will never be any way that even the most vehement detractors of Kobe Bryant will be able to take away his contributions to the Lakers organization and the NBA as a whole. However, he’s all but holding them hostage at this point with how he’s performing and how that affects the team; what’s worse is that Byron Scott is publicly saying that it’s fine that he’s doing so.
Fans can make excuses for many things that Scott has done so far this season if they want to. However, comments like these are 100 percent inexcusable. This is a competitive professional sports league where the object is to win basketball games. In that environment, tenure and past contributions don’t matter; only results do. The Lakers are currently 2-11.