The honeymoon is officially over. Just three games into the pre-season, Los Angeles media contingent have begun to make their rounds and sink their teeth into new coach Byron Scott:
Lakers refuse to shoot 3’s, which is a terrible idea. -SBNation
Lakers defense can’t keep up. –OC Register
Mike D’antoni is exiled and laughing. -Lake Show Life
Yes, the ammunition is stockpiled and all hands are on deck. But, before everyone grabs their torches and pitchforks, let’s make one thing clear: this Lakers team was, is, and will not be any good anytime soon. Period.
The facts are clear. The team’s frontline is a reclamation project, consisting of players other teams found no use for. Their defense, one of the worst last year, got worse personnel wise. The team offense is relying on a 36 year old who hasn’t played in two years. All this goes without mentioning the swingman position– one as barren as any other team’s the league. This team was dead in the water back in July.
Red Auerbach himself could be coaching and this team would still be in the basement of the Western Conference.
We should celebrate the fact that Byron Scott has the opportunity to reconnect with a franchise he contributed so much to. His record of connecting with players is admirable. As opposed to the past few coaches that have sat on the Lakers bench, he is the only hire that appears to act remotely like a human being. And he doesn’t wear a tie, for some reason. This is great.
But don’t put the hook on him. Byron is a good guy. This was just the wrong place at the wrong time.