Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has made his fair share of headlines lately, from declaring that the Lakers toook D'Angelo Russell over Emmanuel Mudiay because he "didn't think [Mudiay] was a true point guard," saying that he thought Kobe Bryant's thus far awful shot selection was "fine," and telling reporters that he thought it was a good thing that "several" unnamed Lakers got into a "verbal altercation" on the team's bench in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' Tuesday night loss to the Denver Nuggets
Scott has also drawn criticism for his rotations, such as his three game experiment with a Ryan Kelly-Brandon Bass frontcourt. But the decision which drew the most ire from fans of the purple and gold so far was undoubtedly his benching of Russell for the entire fourth quarter on Tuesday night . Scott elaborated on his decision making process behind not playing Russell to reporters on Wednesday:
Scott: "I'm not always thinking about necessarily developing them, I'm always thinking about trying to win."— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 5, 2015
So that is probably not ideal... What else do you have for us coach?
Scott: "The development part comes secondary to that, but in practice and everything is where you really work on the development part."— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 5, 2015
That sounds slightly more reasonable, but still, with the Lakers most likely lottery bound anyway, what is the harm in living with the mistakes your younger players might make in crunch time, mistakes they can learn valuable experience from down the road. Most around the NBA agree that players develop better from in-game experience than anything else, and even if for that reason alone Russell should be getting those minutes. Scott said he wants Russell to earn those minutes, but he did on Tuesday night with the Lakers' offense looking more effective with him on the floor. The Lakers may have begun the season 0-4, but that might be the least troubling thing so far about their season.