For those reading who have kids -- a son, for example -- if you had to hire one person to teach everything there is to know about how to talk to women, would you pick Donald Trump? No? Why not? He's had plenty of success with women, hasn't he?
Oh, the whole talking down to them at every opportunity is a turn off? Weird. Well, the Los Angeles Lakers did basically just that by employing Byron Scott for all of this season. They saw how that worked out last season, given his reluctance to go to Jordan Clarkson consistently until finally Ronnie Price, of all players, was hurt. Yet here we are, listening to some give him credit for his young players being talented enough to show progress despite him.
It's like someone was actually dumb enough to entrust Trump with their kid's education, ignoring the aforementioned terrible habits Trump has, only to find out their kid didn't learn a thing because they went deaf and blind in the process.
If "it could be worse" is how we're grading Byron, sure, he technically could've taken an actual belt to D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr. Is this actually how you want to gauge the success rate of a professional basketball coach? This might be a hot take, but I'm setting a higher bar, personally.
Deep down, those who paid attention last year knew how '15-'16 was going to go. We just hoped maybe it'd be different. Boy, were our hopes dashed.
How many articles have we seen about his inability to connect with the kids on this platform alone? On social media, I honestly don't recall a coach being so well-known for ineptitude by people I respect nationally. Sure, there have been bad coaches elsewhere (Kurt Rambis comes to mind, for example), but he was in Minnesota. Nobody cares enough about Minnesota to pay attention to Minnesota. Sorry, Minnesota.
This begs the question: We know how far the Lakers' young core has come, but what if -- and this might be crazy talk -- they hadn't spent parts of the year strapped to the bench? Those who credit Scott right now are basically telling those to whom they preach that "good enough" is how they define success. Word from the (not so) wise: Don't let those passing this narrative along do you any favors.
"Hey, would you mind watching my dog over the weekend?"
"Yeah, no problem."
*You return from wherever it was you went*
"So, how's my little guy?"
"He's still breathing! That good enough?"
Look, the Lakers' win over the Golden State Warriors was great. Russell's 39-point explosion against the Nets was incredible and had this grown man giggling like a teenage schoolgirl. You know what my larger takeaway was, though? If this was always possible -- which it was -- imagine how much more fun this season would have been if it didn't feel like the kids hugely responsible for this recent success were being held back as a direct result of their head coach.
Not only that, but his actions in games have been compounded by his comments before and after them. A huge part of any coach's job is to build confidence, isn't it? How much confidence would you feel if I looked for any reason I could find to point out how badly you need to man (or woman) up? But hey, so long as it doesn't cripple your development completely, I'd get credit for your development!
A common refrain from Byron Scott
stans supporters is to say, "Look at his résumé!" He's helped Jason Kidd (who demanded Scott be fired), Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving so Scott is obviously some kind of point guard whisperer, right? Crediting him only would completely ignore the natural talent each lead guard brought to the table, but sure, it was all Byron!
If anything, this excites me more than anything about Russell and Clarkson. That they've managed to show flashes as they have speaks more to their natural talent than anything Scott brings to the table.
So, the Lakers will have a choice after this season regarding Scott, who boasts the worst winning percentage in franchise history, by the way (how's that for good enough?). My hope is that they realize, unlike those praising Scott for not screwing up a few of the most promising young players in the NBA, "good enough" should not be enough for the future.