Lakers Submit Latest Opus in Being Awful

Darius Soriano —  March 29, 2016

In a game of how bad can we be?, the Lakers were emperors of the court against the Jazz on Monday night. They needed a last second three pointer from D’Angelo Russell just to tie their all-time worst losing margin of 48 points. Per the NBA’s stat tool, they posted a net efficiency differential of negative 57.1. Minus. Fifty. Seven. Point. One.

They had gems of defensive possessions like this one:

Look at how everyone works together! That’s how you move on a string! Look at all that effort! None of those sentences are true. Kobe literally didn’t move that entire clip. Only Russell and Hibbert tried to even help and both guys were late.

Not to be outdone on offense, look at this beauty:

I really don’t have much to add here. I mean…sigh.

As if the play on the court wasn’t bad enough, Byron Scott decided he would take this opportunity to remind everyone of how bad his team is. You know, as if the score and the actual plays from the game didn’t reinforce that concept enough. Nope, he decided he would go in one more time because why not?

A sampling (via Mark Medina of the LA Daily News):

“You have to show this organization that you deserve to be here and you understand what wearing that purple and gold is all about,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I don’t think a lot of guys in that locker room understand that right now.”

Wait. There’s more.

“I don’t look at any of those guys as being our next Kobe,” Scott said. “They can be a piece of it or part of it. But not to get to that level that he has gotten to.”

Oh hey, let’s double down on that.

Scott then suggested the Lakers are more likely to find their next leader in the free agent market. “It would be nice,” Scott added…

Let’s go one by one because, when your team submits its latest opus in being awful, getting quotes from the conductor about what the players need to do is always worthwhile, right coach?

On the first point about deserving to be there and understanding what wearing that purple and gold is all about, all I can say is pot meet kettle. Yes, the players played awful. We know that because we watched the game. What is the coach’s role here, though? If it’s to call out his guys and put the blame on them, send this guy to the hall of fame. But if it’s to try and make adjustments to stop the bleeding or find ways to motivate them to do better — either by putting them in better positions to succeed or communicating with them in a way which inspires the effort you want — it seems Scott is having issues.

On the point about none of the young players being the next Kobe. You mean none of the current players are, possibly, one of the greatest 10 players in the history of the league? You mean they can be part of a great team, but not the driving force behind it? And you know this after a season or two? This could be right on, of course. It could also be wildly incorrect and the type of thing that is said in the moment which probably should not be.

Lastly, you want the next great player to be grabbed in free agency? Because, clearly, none of the guys on the roster are that guy. I know, I know, better to be given a ready made Hall of Famer to lead the team. That’s the best way to get back to the top. Scott knows this well, of course, since that’s what Jason Kidd was to him in New Jersey when he experienced his most success as a head coach when Kidd was the driving force behind two Finals appearances.

Taking all of those quotes, I wonder why it looks like this coach might not be getting the best effort out of his players. Not only does he seemingly not believe in their prospects to become franchise altering players — and, again, he’s made this determination after a season for Russell and two seasons for Randle/Clarkson — but he also seemingly doesn’t believe in their ability to lead the team forward, instead preferring to have the next leader of the team be brought in via free agency.

I’m guessing there are a lot of people who would also like it if the team’s next leader is brought in this summer. Only, they’re not talking about a player…

When it comes right down to it, when the Lakers lose by 48 points or when they have 15 wins through 74 games, there’s more than enough blame to go around. The players, the front office, and, yes, the head coach and his staff all deserve to take hits for what this season has become and the level of play in this final stretch.

With that, it would be nice to hear all of those parties own up to that. Instead, we get more comments from one of those parties about what others need to do better and what they are or aren’t, with the implication that it’s really only on them. As someone who’s been here, watching (basically) every game of the past two seasons, it’s tiring. And I can bet I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Darius Soriano

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94 responses to Lakers Submit Latest Opus in Being Awful

  1. bleedpurplegold March 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I really tried to defend BS, but he lost it with these comments.

    Maybe our best offensive player, who also has some real upside, is up for grabs this summer….you think these kind of comments help our position to sign him?!?

    Do you think FAs want to come play for a coach who makes these kind of comments?!?

    You think our youngsters give maximum effort and try to develop as hard as they can when you tell them they dont have it anyway?!?

    You really think as a head coach, you can blame everyone but yourself?!?

    Fire him, the sooner the better…

  2. Spot on with your analysis. This should be one of the final nails in Scott’s coffin. The young nucleus has shown the fans promise. Time to get a new leader to maximize their potential.

  3. Reminds me of the time way back in the day, when the Tampa Bay Bucs were going through a really terrible season. The head coach, John McKay, was asked what he thought about the team’s execution. “I think it’s a good idea.” , he replied.

  4. What little good will Scott garnered by beating GS and dropping the Princeton was flushed down the toilet with a 48 point loss to Utah. Really though Scott’s ultimate downfall will be from his mouth. He cannot manage to not not say something he shouldn’t when you put a mic in front of him. I really hope our F.O. takes in the length and breadth of Scott’s comments on the season. Time for a change.

  5. This game doesn’t change anything. First, it was set up to be a schedule loss. As TOJW noted, research shows that the second game of a B2B at altitude is tough. Second, Utah has had a lot of bad luck in tight games and they are probably better than their record–their PYTH record is 42-32. Third, Utah wants to make postseason. Fourth, everybody likes beating up on the Lakers.

    I get the frustration, and I get that it is yet another opportunity to throw angry shade at Byron, but the Lakers are exactly what they were when they were beating Golden State and exactly what they were when they broke camp: a terrible, oddly-constructed team with a hard-nosed, dated coach; a questionable FO, a confused authority structure, and a team that is down some picks. What they have are a few young guys who might be pretty good to very good, a chance at a high lottery pick, and a lot of cap space.

    The counter will be that is no excuse for not playing hard,etc. and that is true on some level. But pretty much every NBA team has nights on the schedule when it is just not there–no legs, no rhythm, no fire, no nothing. Bad teams having nights like that lose by 40.

    As to Scott’s comments, he is who he is. There was no reason, based on his track record, to think that he would be an effective coach with a team giving burn to a bunch of rookies and second-year guys, and he hasn’t been.

  6. Darius, perfect article getting to the pulse of what many of us diehards are feeling. Also agree with Vasheed. BScott’s messaging has been awful from jump and continues to be. He just can’t help himself. What FA would want to play for a coach that has relentlessly emasculated his team publicly for the last 2 years? And has not once (that I can remember) acknowledged that scheme or wonky rotations have played a role? sheesh.

  7. Man, I was ready to respond to you about reaching Scott, then I read his comments. That is not the type of thing you say about your young players. The fact that he thought it was okay to say we have to go out and find a leader is ridiculous. I understand the whole “earning it” thing, but to be so dismissive of your players is totally uncalled for.

    This kind of stuff is the reason why I donot think he deserves a chance to coach post-kobe

  8. So making the pilgrimage to LA this weekend to see my first game in LA against Boston all the way from Montreal

    Any tips or suggestions of things to see / do

    Anything team related that we can do a travelling fan ?

    – tried reaching out to staples about a tour but they said that they ended them – would love to see some historic laker stuff while i’m there

    Do they do tours at their head office or practice facility?

  9. I have a feeling that Byron’s fate may have already been decided.

    I expect him to be gone within days after the season is over. We not only need a different coach. We need a different kind of coach.

    It’s time to move on.

  10. Wow…this “blame the Laker coach” website is HILARIOUS. Please illuminate us as to what you would say or do to motivate these young players? New offense? Installed over a month a go and the kids have utterly stopped running anything other than high screen and roll on almost every…single…possession. Predictability your name is ‘young Lakers.’

    I had the honor and pleasure of attending the game on Sunday night. The youthful Lakers, except for Clarkson and LNJ, fail the “I can see you dogging it” test. Big time. Julius Randle has checked out. Almost completely. Watching his “help” defense on the clip is but a small sample size of the wealth of loafing this guy has done for the last 2 weeks. Not sure if you’ve been to a game this season but seeing them in real life is vastly different than on TV or the internet. D’Angelo and Randle are really struggling to finish the season playing hard. When the coach benches these guys, all the pundits, bloggers and “fans” explode in hyperbolic rage so now he’s not benching them. What’s left but to be critical in a post game interview when prompted by…the media?”

    “Oh they’re just playing out the string, this is a lost season anyway” Ridiculous. these kids A) don’t deserve to “play out the string”, B) Are auditioning for said super-star teammate to sign on as, yes you got it, a FREE AGENT (not so “free” in all honesty) C) To establish themselves as gamers in the NBA. That last one should be a fairly large issue. Clarkson is playing for his first, hopefully, big time contract. This is how he caps off a stellar season? By “playing lazy and straying from his fundamentals”? Absurd. Pathetic. Pitiful. The fans deserve your best, something tells me the coaching staff didn’t roll out of bed two hours before the game and draw some diagrams on the whiteboard and say “here, run this tonight”. It’s called work and job for a reason. Show. Up.

    Honestly, no coach would make this situation tenable. Phil wouldn’t play them, he’d be just fine watching Lou, Huertas, Brandon and Kobe playing the lion’s share of minutes if this was the effort displayed. These guys are in the midst of learning so much Hoops 101 it’s silly. If we keep the pick I hope we choose Heidl simply for the fact he’s had 4 years of college hoops to prepare him for the NBA. Paying kids millions to learn blows mad chunks and it’s absurd to me that Philly thinks there’s some secret pathway or shortcut to success by simply throwing young players on the court and thinking “any day now…those wins will start coming…any day now…trust the process…annnnnnnyyyyyy daaaaaaayyyyyy nnnnn..zzzzzzzzz” Development comes from belief and trust, two key ingredients our young players possess one of. They trust in themselves and admit, openly, to having difficulty trusting each other when the going gets tough.

    Last point, if I were coach Scott I’d pull a D’Antoni if they don’t pick up his option, which the Lakers also should not do as this has been back-to-back historically bad seasons. Firing the coach won’t solve a thing but having him step down because he doesn’t want to coach under the ‘lame duck’ situation is completely understandable. But these guys need so much more basic, fundamental basketball instruction it’s actually kind of sad. As if I could go out and get a job that requires a highly skilled degree with a high school GED…and then demand a raise week 2. This is looking like 3-4 season project to get competitive, again, and no coach on planet Earth will speed that up nor do I expect us to land said super star this off-season. MAYBE after next season. Maybe. Theories will abound and I’m sure folks here will disagree with me, it is one of the things that makes America great (now and into the future, screw you Drumpf), but if you go to a real, live game and watch the difference in what a vet like B-squared or even Huertas does and our kids are doing you will see a mountain of lessons that need to be learned.

    GO LAKERS!!!!

  11. For some here, this beats winning against the Jazz late in the season, thereby altering the lottery odds. A year ago people pitched a fit when the Lakers used a 10-0 run in the fourth to win an otherwise meaningless game.

    They’re going nowhere, so any added (ugly) losses that may help to end the Byron Scott era are welcome for the greater good.

  12. The Dude Abides March 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Great post, Darius. Also, your tweet last night was just featured on ESPN’s Around the Horn. Hopefully it embeds here:

    Lakers down 40 which seems appropriate considering that's what you pour out when your homie dies.— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) March 29, 2016

  13. these are the moments that will make it all the sweeter when were back on top, cant truly appreciate the good times without the bad.things will get much better when kobe and byron are gone.

  14. Not that the players gave any effort and yes, the second of a back to back IN UTAH, AT ALTITUDE. The whole team looked…… lethargic to put a positive spin on it.

    But Post game…….man…..Couldn’t Byron Scott just have kept his mouth shut????!!!?? I mean, ever hear of taking the HIGH ROAD guy????

    Its like a mother of young kids not watching them and letting them make messes all over the house and just letting the messes go unattended. Then when a visitor comes, the mother says, “These kids are a bunch of undisciplined little slobs!!!! Do you see this place!?!?!?!!? NOT ONE OF THESE KIDS IS EVER GOING TO BE A GOOD HOUSEKEEPER. Especially not that 3 year old over there!!!!”

    Whos the Boss here??? Who’s the TEACHER and who are the students??? Cmon man!!!!!!!!!

    I agree with the post above questioning why Quin Snyder never got a sniff as a head coaching candidate. Snyder even has a law degree too so, I tend to think he would know when do not have DIARRHEA OF THE MOUTH every time a mike is in his face!!!!!

    He is not the SOLE SOURCE of the problem but as I said a couple of games ago Byron has lost the team. With as much public tearing down of his young players as he has done all year, its actually a miracle this didn’t happen much sooner in the season.

    To echo others, if the decision to go another direction wasn’t made before tonight, it HAS TO have been made by this morning.

    I predict we will see Jeanie or one of the “lesser Buss kids” with an awkward not-ready-for-tv grin on their face awaiting the lottery order draw on May 23 (I believe thats the date).
    Byron will be at the closest Chick-Fil-A…..

  15. We got what we asked for, not what we deserve.

    We asked for the young bucks to get some run. Well, here they are in all their discord glory.

    They all want the same thing, minutes, stats, and money, but they’re not willing to fight for one another.

    It’s apparent that BS has killed any chance of cohesion or trust on this team, and for this YOU’RE FIRED!

    At the beginning of last year, Kerr instructed the Warriors to focus on fundamentals for a good amount of time during practice due to the high amount of turnovers they exhibited in previous years.

    The players hated it, but guess what? Turnovers went down and they improved.

    BS is known to be a defensive coach, but the Lakers have consistently been one of the worst in defensive ratings.

    We have no identity, no leadership, or direction.

    What do coaches like Steve Kerr, Brad Stevens and Quin Snyder do that BS doesn’t?

    We can all agree, whatever he’s doing isn’t working.

  16. Great write up Darius !

    Jamie Sweet –
    “Wow…this “blame the Laker coach” website is HILARIOUS. Please illuminate us as to what you would say or do to motivate these young players?”

    As a Coach, the buck stops with them. They know this fact, it’s a main aspect of the job. Anyone but an idiot would constantly try to distance themselves from the end results of their own team.

    Clay Bernard –
    “Its like a mother of young kids not watching them and letting them make messes all over the house and just letting the messes go unattended. Then when a visitor comes, the mother says, “These kids are a bunch of undisciplined little slobs!!!! Do you see this place!?!?!?!!? NOT ONE OF THESE KIDS IS EVER GOING TO BE A GOOD HOUSEKEEPER. Especially not that 3 year old over there!!!!”
    Who’s the Boss here??? Who’s the TEACHER and who are the students??? Cmon man! ”

    Excellent analogy !
    Could not think of a better way to clarify the situation.

  17. Jimmy Buss will certainly step down after the last game … and hire himself as Coach …

  18. @KevtheBold – Where do you see the coach distancing himself from the team in anything he says? He’s asked a question and, LO, he answers! If hose involved in our current political process were as frank and open about what has been a terrible season. Do you honestly think the coaches didn’t have a game plan mapped out and imparted to the players? Because I don’t think that at all. It’s a man’s game, they are not playing like men. Lesson concluded, go get better, kids.

    @Clay Bernard – If they wanted to be to be treated like students then there’s a place for them: college. Last time I looked, when you take a job you show up for work or there are repercussions

  19. B drew a bad hand with the youngsters/KB’s last two years. This team is bad and no coach was going to make them a playoff contender. But B has not done himself any favors with his messaging, lack of accountability, strange 20 game lineup shifts, and defensive scheme which seems to invite corner 3s. Curious to know what other players/agents think about LAL situation. Bc the national media’s perception is that we are a mess and B is terrible. If players/agents really believe that too, you have to dump B and have a new coach in place in advance of the moratorium. Because as bad of a hand as B inherited, you have to give the team the best chance to win starting now. LAL can’t strike out in FA again this offseason.

  20. Jamie Sweet –
    “@KevtheBold – Where do you see the coach distancing himself from the team in anything he says?”

    Where? As a leader, when you point your finger at the group you are supposed to lead, and say; “They, He, She is to blame,..” versus “We” or if you have the courage “I take full responsibility”, that my friend is distancing in the worst and most cowardly form.

    Just after the all star break, I was one to consider forgiving Scott all his shortcomings, however now, when his team, especially the kids need guidance after such a horrific blow to their confidence, what does the leader do?

    He Steps away from them, and calls out the kids of all people, versus the vets, telling them that not a one has what it takes to lead the team, so they had better hope for outside help.

    How much more belittling can they take?

    We can no longer call what he does “tough love”.
    He is factually damaging the future of our team, and needs to be fired !

  21. I’m looking forward to the BS statue in front of Staples. I can see it now … arms folded, in full sneer mode.

    The only question is, will the statue feature the terrible caterpillar on its upper lip?

  22. Neither surprised or upset about last night’s debacle. With the way that this season has played out, why should I be?

    The only 3 dates that I’m looking forward to are April 13th, May 17th and whatever date it is in which the organization relieves Scott of his coaching duties.

  23. Blaming BScott is ridiculous! This is the worst team in the league and he knows it and hates it.
    That is a proud Laker warrior people least you forget! You think the youngsters came up the game plan to beat Golden State? Even Hubie Brown complemented BScott on the game plan. The rooks just happened to execute it that day and perfectly. That is the problem with young players never can predict the effort level or the consistency. To have so many at once is unprecedented for us. The kids have a long long way to go!

    It’s official Lakers Tank 2017! With this roster I think the 2017 pick is assured!

  24. Jimmy Sweets,

    …”If they wanted to be to be treated like students then there’s a place for them: college. Last time I looked, when you take a job you show up for work or there are repercussions.”
    ____

    Coaching is generally defined as training or development in which a person called a coach supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. In other words, coaching ALWAYS involves teaching and that teaching doesn’t ONLY exist in College.

    The Last time I looked, professional sports are not governed by the same employment rules that the rest of the business world generally adheres to.

    The current situation makes it financially more beneficial for young players to develop while getting paid than to play 2-4 years in College. That means a lot of the best perceived talent enters the league early. You can’t turn back the clock and live like it was in the Old Days. You have to adapt to the current state of the game and try to succeed in it. If that means drafting younger guys and needing to focus on more fundamentals than they did in 1985 so be it. Play your hand don’t just sit there and bad mouth it!!

    Byron has done himself no favors by doing no coaching and doing a lotta talking ABOUT EVERYONE BUT HIMSELF all year. I think any of us could better stomach the negative comments if he had a self deprecating nature or AT LEAST, a good measure of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY in all that is going wrong. But you NEVER see it. Byron just won’t fall on the sword or admit his own role in the mess.

    He’s a weak leader who is publicly fraying under adversity. Not a keeper in my book.

  25. i may not want Byron back, but i’m surely ok with what he said.
    otherwise, this is just another tempest in a teapot.

    there’s no way that the team would be good this year. i had hoped for better, but that would’ve required everything to go just right. it didn’t happen. instead, the youngsters gotr most of the minutes(even while “fans” complained that they weren’t getting enough). this meant that the team was totally inexperienced and totally overmatched almost every night. occasionally, there have been flashes of what could be and except for last night, the team has generally played hard, if not well. i can’t really expect much more than that from players or coaches. now there are 8 games to go, and the players couldn’t find their hearts. this is not a big surprise, nor is it a time to point blame everywhere, although it’s cool to burn everyone on the team if anyone wants to. they have played terribly.

    for what it’s worth, the team never scrapped the Princeton. the motion set that was added(that the team doesn’t usually play) fits into the Princeton’s tenets of ball movement, spacing, back doors and cuts, which just happen to be the fundamental principles in just about every basketball offense, new or old. a system is just a framework, after all. the specifics of an offense are based on players’ strengths and weakness. that includes Russel’s post ups and Randle’s drives.

  26. Jamie Sweet,

    What’s your point? The players need to mature? Truly earth shattering.

    News flash — the ownership is shaky, the FO is suspect at best, the coaching stinks on many levels, and the players are, charitably, ill-suited as a group. That all leads to a pretty disastrous outcome.

    Odd to come attack a blog over a post about the coach, but perhaps you missed all of the discussion regarding the ownership, the FO, Kobe, and the roster. If so, I guess that explains your POV.

  27. If BS is a good coach, why did two good PG Kids and CP3 quit on him? from the start of the season, we saw the trouble of BS coaching this team, so i am not surprised, the Lakers FO had shown that they have no idea to hire a coach, that’s the problem, and please don’t hire Luke Walton to be next Lakers head coach, he has no experience, and can this Lakers team run trial angle offense ? no.

  28. Jamie: I hear what you are saying, however there are “other” Laker sites that are way worse in terms of the traits you are describing. This site is by far the most level headed in Laker fan land. That said – many Laker fans are focused on Scott, because in a warped way – it gives them the most hope. They want to think that if we just fire Scott – all will be well. It won’t be of course, as we have problems in the FO and evidently within the locker room (and there supposedly is tape to back that up). However many fans do not want to think about that, and rather would like to blame it all on Scott and then if Byron is fired we will be on the road to success. Again – do not blame this site, as it really is the most level headed. Just “Roll” on over to any of the other sites and check them out if you really want to see some fans looking at the players and the FO through purple and gold eye shades.

  29. Russell ostracized by teammates after he releases a private conversation between him and Young. they won’t talk or be with him. This was a factor in the Utah game.

  30. Great. Team isolating Russell and refuse to even sit by him. All over Nick Young cheating and a kid recording story. Young should have been released any way.

    Answers why Nick had the imaginary flu and was not at last 2 games and why Russell stunk last game.

    Team response is 48 point loss. Mean while Scott has done nothing but call out team in media.

    No coach, no GM, bad ownership and now last years pick is a leper. Do something lame duckJimmy. Throw Young out of here now and try a team meeting. This team has fallen apart and will lose the next 8 games by 30.

    What a horrible mess.

  31. That Russell thing is heartbreaking. It really demoralized me. I hope he can bounce back from this, and I hope Nick Young’s future is not wrecked too bad. This is really a bummer for everyone.

  32. Russell has masterminded a way to get nick young out of l.a.

  33. Possibility lou williams would demand a Trade too

  34. I would take a late 2nd round pick for nick young

  35. What kind of idiot records that, and what kind of idiot talks about their sex life with others

  36. BScott did what JBuss paid him to do. The Lakers were not going to win this year and needed to keep their pick. He coached them to that. The fact that so many in this forum are blaming a lack of coaching shows how masterful he was in positioning the Lakers to keep their top 3 protected pick. Look at this roster the only player who showed any consistency was Clarkson, Randle and Russell are both very immature and lack professionalism. Any of us who have had teenagers, especially spoiled teenagers know how difficult it is get them to clean up their room and do chores. You are asking a coach of professionals to babysit thats all. So can we stop over analyzing this. The Lakers suck. Kobe my favorite player all time is barely a shell of the mamba. There is nothing else on this team worth discussing, The Lakers arent the T wolves, Jazz or the Bucks, young talented teams coming together. They are a mismash of has beens Hibbert, Peace, bass, Young,Kelly, black Sacre, Huertas. This roster rivals the 76ers. Red Auerbach would have finished last with this team. Farewell Kobe, thank you for 20 years of greatness. BScott, you got paid 5 million a year to be the ringmaster of this circus, you got us a number 2 pick and hopefully a number one or 2. Jim Buss your 3 years is officially up you promised to resign. Jeannie im praying you take over, You keep Russell just on potential because Lord knows he needs to grow up fast and i dont mean in a basketball sense. Randle you need longer arms and consistency, Jordan Clarkson you are my only bright spot on this team. LNance you showed enough to warrant another year. We have 3.5 young player with some promise aside from that we got nothing. Luke isnt coming here. Phil isnt either. No players want to come here and neither do any coaches. Get Mark Jackson and go after players like harrison barnes and the like and build real team. Get an offensive and defensive identity, find players who fit it and just move forward. No free agent is gonna fix this. We need coaching, time and talent. and right now all we have is time

  37. Secretly recording private conversations is probably one of the most effective ways of destroying trust. This is incredibly stupid and ill-advised even for a 20-year-old kid.

  38. I think that besides the coaching issue, during this offseason they really need to look at this roster and determine who has a future with the Lakers. If the answer is “only D’Angelo Russell” then the Lakers may have a problem. Note that this will go beyond this roster. Will a newly acquired player trust Russell knowing that he can do this? Will they want to play with him? If we offer a FA a max salary (and assuming others will offer that same player a max salary as well), will he want to play for this FO and a point guard that sells his teammates out?

    It doesn’t mean that we should protect Nick Young at all costs but this is about building a team around a point guard whose teammates do not trust. A very complicated issue to solve…

  39. Did Byron once compared D’Angelo to Magic? Magic led his teammates and looked out for the last guy on the bench not burn down their private lives in public. D’Angelo can’t even measure up to Nick Van Exel at this point. If this kid is the new face of the Lakers franchise, I’m burning all my jerseys. If he were to get into a drunken street brawl, most of his teammates will still have his back. But after this forget it. Everyone in that locker room should just line up and punch him in the face and then dump his ass on a curb. Don’t know if that will build back any trust in the locker room. But maybe the rest of the guys won’t lay down and lose by 50 and destroy what is left of the Lakers legacy. I’m beyond disgusted with D’Angelo and this team.

  40. Even if Russell hit the record button as a joke, once he realized the potentially inflammatory nature of Young’s comments, he should have just deleted the recording immediately.
    How on earth did the recording go viral?

    If Russell intentionally instead leaked the conversation that’s really a bad mark against him.
    A team meeting between the principals is needed ASAP to squash this or it will poison team chemistry for good.

    Failure to address this sort of squabble on the part of management or the coach is a truly ominous sign of the ‘rats’ taking over the ship.

  41. matt,

    Forget about Young and Williams who, more then likely, were not part of the long term plans anyway. This can, and possibly will, have a major impact on free agents wanting to join the Lakers. Trust is everything in any relationship. This wouldn’t play out well in the locker rooms of any team sport. Being looked upon as a ‘rat’ or ‘snitch’ in your rookie campaign has the possibility of following DLo for the remainder of his career. What might of been a minor to him has turned out to be a major throughout the league. Let alone the team. This idiotic move may have tremendous ramifications on the organization. Hopefully, it doesn’t get to the point in which the team will have to look to move him because, IMO, he’s the most talented of our young core. As the saying goes, ‘when it rains, it pores.’

  42. – Has the old Clipper curse been passed on from Donald Sterling to The new “Bust” Family? Just appears soooo much has gone wrong in the last three years. Just as this three year nightmare is about to end, DAR pulls off this latest beauty.

  43. Does this mean Nick Young is gonna have to learn how to play defense?

  44. No coach could represent the status of the organization better than Byron.
    The team is basically an exhibition team.
    Even the most shameless player would feel awkward being showcased in this manner, but why change now – it’s all about Kobe and the sycophants who actually pay good money to chant “Kobe Kobe” at the end of 30 point losses – I don’t know who’s more disappointing – Kobe or the fans?

  45. Dump that punk kid .. scotts right he is 14 not 19. A good example of one and done should be changed

  46. Russell needs to go ASAP. I know Young sucks but you have to realize now he’s a toxic player and no onn else will want to come here. He is good, but he’s not superstar great so we need to try and trade him for pennies on the dollar or even just waive him. What a dirt bag. He was my defacto fave after Kobe but that’s such a low and sleazy move who would ever want him on the Lakers now?

  47. WOW just WOW, what Russell did was incredibly inmature and beyond stupid. That’s the sort of thing that destroys a team. And while I didn’t expected the Lakers to win in Utah that level of masacre makes sense now. Team isolating Russell? well deserved. Nick Young cheating? well im pretty sure that’s the norm in the NBA. No wonder Young is sick lol. Violating the locker room trust is a big deal. If a player cheats or whatever I couldn’t care less, i care about the product on the floor, i never given a hoot about players personal lives unless it affects the team. DAR really messed up here…

  48. I agree, Clay B’s mom analogy is perfect.
    I was shocked to see DAR’s video. Shades of KB’s comment to police about a married Shaq’s GFs when he got busted…….sad, immature, but most of all, mean, mean- spirited…….and very telling. Hard to believe the best about DAR in this situation….how/ why do you record this in the first place, and then to POST it? That’s some serious hate one for another. Not to mention the 3rd party involved here in NY’s fiancé. …..SAD. To say this was VERY poor lack of judgment is a severe understatement (for both NY and DAR really) and one that will haunt DAR for quite a while I would imagine….NY too for that matter. THIS is real- world B*@@ S#*t, …….and, after this long ugly season, with comments unbecoming a real coach, play that is so inconsistent, losses that are embarrassing for any Laker fan,…………. has got to be the most disturbing action/stunt/jab/deceit…whatever you can think of for lowliness…..that I have witnessed over these last several years and makes all the other drama on the court and in front of the mic meaningless to me. Sad what we human beings do to each other……Sad on so many levels.

  49. Wow, Darius must´ve been seriously fuming, understandably so, when writing this piece.

    nice post mud –

    greetings to Robert & KO
    ___
    Re: the video –
    For Pete´s sake, when will our Lakers get out of this 5-year long funk??!!

  50. Let’s have a little perspective here. Russell was either hacked or sent the video to a friend who sold him up the river. There’s no way he intended it to go public. He’s stupid, not toxic. Young is all washed up. He should have already been gone. There’s no way we trade away a potential all-star because Nick Young can’t keep it in his pants. Oh, and I get really sick of the whole bro code thing. Nick is a cheating douche, which is much worse than a dopey kid who accidentally let the cat out of the bag for someone else’s reprehensible behavior.

  51. Jamie Sweet- At root your post argues for personal accountability. Agreed. Yet this is not like a Chinese menu where you get to pick and choose who it applies to. The truth is that it applies to all. Ownership, management, players and coaches. As the head coach you should own it. It comes with the title. The mantle of leadership demands it. Byron has proven time and again that he is unwilling or simply genetically incapable of doing so. His finger pointing only goes one direction. Outward. When your message is being tuned out. When you have lost the respect of those you were hired to lead, there are as you pointed out…repercussions. And is it your position that Byron’s unchallenged position now as the NBA coach with the worst winning percentage of ANY coach with 1000 or more games on the sidelines is somehow not in some very direct and meaningful way on Byron? Or is he just a victim of bad circumstances?

    Whether he is fired for a fourth time this offseason is still unknown. But it is more than warranted.

    Robert- While I have felt for most of the year that Byron was part of the problem he is unfortunately only a part and as I mentioned in a previous post not the largest part. Replacing him is no cure all by any stretch. We need other new leadership as well.

    This news about Russell is unsettling. It needs to be dealt with head on. It has the all makings of a team chemistry destroyer. Every effort has to be made to clear the air and hopefully rebuild trust. Tall order.

    Clay Bertrand- funny and apt analogy

  52. Ryan & Karen,.. two of the silliest comments I have ever read.
    You are using this as an excuse because you never wanted him from the get go.

    How about we give away our gifted kids because they get their siblings busted cheating?

    This is nothing, and will pass.

    On court is where the most important aspects reside.

    Kobe was much older and did something similar to Shaq if you recall, but Swag is no Shaq, so chill.

  53. tru dat Lakerpauer……the victim in all this is ZA…..but I hope, as you say, that DAR was being a stupid kid and sent it to a friend on the down low ….because if he posted it himself, then his character is in real question when it comes to teammates who will play along side hm.

  54. This too shall pass. It is just another opportunity for the Lakers FO and coach to practice their leadership skills.

  55. Russell will survive this — but it just shows you that he’s not ready to lead the team just yet. Unfortunately, he has the best skill set of the kids so the Lakers need him to be successful. Jordan Clarkson is 23 and got caught in that unfortunate situation recently. In this social media society mistakes are captured and nothing blows over quickly.

    I will say that the FO has to be freaking out because there are a lot of ‘problems’ that would indicate the team is much further away from competing than they may have hoped: bad coach, poor talent and now infighting. The organization needs forward momentum in a bad way and Jeanie may feel that she can’t give Jimmy another year since the situation, on his watch, is getting out of control.

  56. To those that condem Russ! Grow up. Get the full story first. Prank gone bad. Also as Lakerpauer says this is 2 incidents in a week around Young. Guy is a clown not a roll model and Clarkson and Russell should stay away.

    What next Randle watch’s clown Nick commit a crime and is blasted for that.

    There is reason Nick has bounced around this league, its called trouble.

    Cut Russell some slack until the Kardasion want to be Youngs story is complete and he cleans out his locker.

  57. The organization needs forward momentum in a bad way and Jeanie may feel that she can’t give Jimmy another year since the situation, on his watch, is getting out of control.
    ___

    I was thinking the exact same thing. The Basketball Operations Group headed by Jim and Mitch, seems adrift. There doesn’t seem to be a vision that can be translated into a road map/plan that can be executed into reality. The team is an assembly of odds and ends: from the coach to the roster to the Jim/Mitch rhetoric to the ill fated free agent meetings to the infighting with Jeanie. It’s a mess.

    I mean, really, how much more can go wrong before someone in Lakers’ management says enough is enough. The fish rots from the head down and the stink all over Jim and Mitch is getting pretty strong.

  58. It’s been a crazy season, so why not add some DLo/Swaggy P drama? Don’t want to imagine what else these guys will do.

  59. Young has recently been at the center of two issues and doesn’t bring much value on the court, even to a team as disastrously talent impaired as the Lakers. Not a lot of upside there. By the way, wow a pro athlete cheating on a partner? Not exactly unheard of. I’d love to see him gone in any event.
    Unfortunately, DAR probably has too much talent to jettison.

  60. This event might actually provide the impetus for the Lakers to finally cut ties with Nick Young, even with 2 more years left on his contract (2nd year: player option). It just might be time to buy him out. He brings very little value to the Lakers any more and may even be a major distraction.

    With Byron’s hoped-for, imminent exit, the loss of dead weight such as Hibbert, Metta, Ryan Kelly, Sacre, and now — possibly — Nick Young, and, of course, Kobe’s impending retirement, this is an excellent opportunity for the Lakers to wipe the slate clean.

    But first, DAR should apologize to Nick Young and then to the team. Then the Lakers should move on and get ready for the off-season.

    Quite frankly, the Lakers have more important things to worry about than this idiotic, juvenile prank. This off season, I believe, will be extremely important. The Lakers should focus on that. The future of the franchise could be molded in a big way in the next 3 months.

    That is the Lakers’ real priority, not some stupid video that will be forgotten by the time that Summer League begins.

  61. Winning hides a lot ‘issues’. Unfortunately, the Lakers are not winning.

    If the current vets are not going to move beyond this Russell/Young tiff then I guess we’ll see a lot of new vets on next year’s roster. Russell is not going anywhere.

  62. DAR was stupid to record this. But really Young cheating on his fiancee is a lot worse. I’m not shocked with the priorities being emphasized but I really wish I was.

  63. I don’t know how many of you guys have played in a team and how many of you grew up in this social media age but… this is a very serious offense in the locker room, regardless if it was a prank gone wrong or if he was hacked or whatever. If you’re old enough to drive, you are old enough to know that actions have consequences.

    I couldn’t care less about Nick Young but if Russell becomes the face of the franchise I can’t imagine the impact it will have in recruiting FA’s (unless you overpay for them, as money trumps all). If he’s not the face of the franchise, then he needs to be traded. Either way, Russell and the Lakers have some serious PR work ahead of them.

    Remember that basketball teams are the same around the world and their behaviour during road trips is more or less what is known for NBA players (more famous, richer and therefore even easier to get women). Who will speak with him at all? Can a PG be at odds with the entire team and still be successful?

  64. I fully expect Russell to be on the doghouse for the remainder of this season. And him being a rookie, well he is going to pay for it. But after two weeks nobody is going to care. I hope he learn from this “prank gone bad” right, I don’t think taping private conversations count as a prank. Funny how he got “hacked” right away he probably sens it to a “friend” as a goof and got burned i hope he learned his lesson. That being said, Nick Young needs to go, he is as inmature as DAR and his recent behavior is more than enough proof. And to those that immediately went “waive DAR, dump this kid” get over yourselves, yeah we know you wanted Okafor and his bum knee, guess what,DAR is here to stay. Obviously he is young dumb and stupid but this is going to “destroy” this team for what? the two weeks that remains? I hope DAR learn from this. Is not like he got a dui and killed somebody or was behaving like a thug in a club like Okafor. He ain’t going anywhere but Nick Young almost certainly is, I don’t see him lasting the summer, they either buy him out or dupe another team to take him.

  65. For those trying to give DAR a pass, how would you react if someone you trusted secretly recorded you in a private conversation and released the video to all your friends, family and coworkers?

    It may be possible to eventually forgive, but I’d imagine the trust would be gone for good.

    I really hope that this was a prank and DAR’s phone was indeed hacked. It still does not fully explain why anyone would ask incriminating questions on video for a laugh, but I guess it’s possible.

  66. I haven’t seen anyone giving Russell a pass, even though he’s admitted that it was an unintentional snapchat upload.

    We are addressing the shortsighted calls to trade or waive him, or saying his future trust as a team mate is over.

    Kobe intentionally told the press about Shaq’s adventures and Shaq was married.
    It passed.

    This too will pass, and especially so since it’s seasons end.

    Next season, Russ will be team captain, and you can best believe that his team mates won’t jeopardize their paychecks and careers because of some silly prank from last year.

  67. Excellent post, Jamie Sweet!!!

    Lambasting Kobe over his lack of offense 20 years in is beyond ridiculous. How about highlighting the fact that Rodney Hood was on fire, and not one of the so-called ‘young core’ took it upon themselves to lock him up other than Kobe Bryant. In the second half, Kobe face guarded Rodney Hood and shut him down offensively. Max and Marcellus made this point on their radio show, and they were concerned that none of the ‘youngsters’ displayed any leadership defensively. This team is oblivious to what it takes to win games on this level; they think it’s okay to allow the player they’re defending to impose their will on the game offensively.

  68. Kobe did not tell the press about Shaq’s adventures. He told a police officer under questioning. His statements were then leaked to the press.

    DAR asked premeditated and incriminating questions on video to a friend who had no idea he was being recorded.

    I hope you are right and this will pass soon, but it seems very unlikely.

  69. DAR was stupid to record this. But really Young cheating on his fiancee is a lot worse

    On some larger level, perhaps, but I don’t think so in the closed world of jockdom. What happens on the road and in the locker room is supposed to stay there, and many players, married/engaged or not, have a wide array of extracurricular interests, shall we say. Part of the culture.

    I think this will blow over, but the Shaq/Kobe comp is poorly thought-out and weak. For one thing, Shaq and Kobe never really worked out their differences, although they managed to co-exist while the team was at the top of the league. For another, Russell is a rookie–not a star–and Young is a scrub.

    That said, I don’t see this having a huge effect going forward. Most of the guys on the current team will not be part of the next good team the Lakers have, whenever that occurs, and Young is a guy whom, as noted, the FO can just release or buy out, since his contract has negative value and they never should have given him that deal to begin with. This would be a bigger problem if the so-called prank had been pulled on Randle, Nance Jr., or Clarkson.

  70. Kobe NEVER told anything about Shaq to the press. NEVER.

    that story was leaked out of the Colorado police station that was doing the investigation. what he said was(paraphrased) “how much money does she want? Shaq’s had to pay this kind of extortion before, too”. he said this to the investigator. it should never have gone public.

  71. About Shaq, after that how did it work out for them? About Okafor, nobody is asking for him. The question is, are you sure that Russell is the future of the franchise? Are we sure he is that good? If he is, like I said, the Lakers have some serious PR to do and solve this. If he is not, why bother…

    It all comes down to what is being discussed for a while now… How can we label a rookie as a franchise savior or as a bust? What if he is neither? Is he still worth keeping when he acts immature and doesn’t play defense yet? Or is he that important that the Lakers have no alternative but dismiss every alternative available to them?

    Our opinion of him is irrelevant because we have no access to practice and, therefore, we don’t know enough about him.

  72. LT Mitchell “Kobe did not tell the press about Shaq’s adventures. He told a police officer under questioning. His statements were then leaked to the press.”

    I was trying not to open up that old wound, but, same difference with the exception of adding the police into the mix.

    You can try to make Russell’s prank into something worse, but Kobe’s circumstances of getting caught cheating, then pulling someone else down with him, made what he did in comparison to Russell’s prank, a full fledged rat-out.

    Russell will survive this, and learn.

  73. Renato Afonso “About Shaq, after that how did it work out for them?”

    They are good with one another now and both wish they had stayed together.

    The point is however, no one declined to play with Kobe afterwards, besides, Raja Bell, but he was a jack-a__ imo.

    Understanding that Russell is no where near where Kobe was, his potential remains, and as team captain next year and PG, his teammates will need to trust him on the court, or lose their jobs.

    What occurs off court will, normalize, as Russell is such a friendly and funny person that as long as he apologizes, people will soon forget what he did as a silly kid.

  74. The people putting this on Young have never been part of a team. What Russell did is the lowest thing you can possibly do to a teammate and is going to have a real impact on who we can get to play here. Not to mention who could possibly cheer for this rat? It’s bad enough our team sucks, now we have to have this guy too…ugh

    And because someone specifically accused of me never wanting DR, I have been pro Russell since before we used the pic. I’m super bummed out, not angry.

    We are planning on spending our cap space at some point right? And our team is bad so we have to count on someone seeing LA as an.attractive destination. Now part of the calculation a free agent will have to do is decide if they want to risk a private locker room conversation being recorded by a teammate.

  75. mud “what he said was(paraphrased) “how much money does she want? Shaq’s had to pay this kind of extortion before, too”. he said this to the investigator.”

    Good thing you paraphrased that because it’s NOT at all what he said.

    Anyone can look it up if they desire,…something you should have done.

    By that time in his career, Kobe of all people should have known that anything he says will go public in the records.

    Please,…

  76. Anonymous March 30, 2016 at 12:36 pm
    “And because someone specifically accused of me never wanting DR, I have been pro Russell since before we used the pic. I’m super bummed out, not angry.”

    No one even knows who you are, so how could someone accuse you of anything?

    Why not take the paper bag off your head, then we can have a conversation with someone we can recognize and remember?

  77. KevtheBold i find it hilarious how someone can acuse a anom of anything. Nobody knows who you are friend. Put a name to what you say and maybe someone will take you seriously or give a crap about what you say. It only takes a minute to put a name but i guess people are lazy…

  78. Fern, Lol !!

    I find this amusing as well, two phases which conflict like fire and ice.

    Anon: “Not to mention who could possibly cheer for this rat? It’s bad enough our team sucks, now we have to have this guy too…ugh”

    “I have been pro Russell since before we used the pic. I’m super bummed out, not angry.”

    Smh,..

    People’s original ideas and beliefs are difficult to change, and even though they try to hide their feelings,… their words sooner or later, reveal the truth.

  79. @Dom…..
    Great post!

  80. Anonymous must be the other poster that was “spefically accused” (her words not mine) of being anti Russell. Because I was also “called out” (I’m using quotes because I don’t really mean it in a bad way, someone just replied to me and we don’t have a reply feature) let me just say…

    I wanted us to draft Russell when he was at OSU. I don’t see how he wasn’t on pace to be at least a 20 ppg type player, but I agree. This is unforgivable. He has to go. Not only can we forget about having any kind of locker room with him, but no free agent is going to come here to play with him. If players supposedly didn’t want to play with the great Kobe Bryant because of his hard edged attitude how could they play with a guy who secretly records them in the locker room.

    You don’t need to have played team sports to realize how low of a thing he did. Just live on planet earth. This is bad. And sad. Not a good year to be a Lakers fan.

  81. Look the fault here is NY. He is engaged and that implies some level of commitment and maturity. NY is 31 years old. Why is he pranking back and forth with a kid? NY used bad judgement, then bragged about it. How about we place the responsibility where it belongs. DAR used poor judgement yes but this rhetoric about “oh the code”, “he cant be trusted” lol look the person who cant be trusted is NY. If you have a sister or a daughter would you let him near her? What is wrong with you people? Its as if the social media age began and the moral age ended? DAR was immature and used poor judgement, NY is a lying cheat. And in your minds the lying cheater is the victim SMH. welcome to the millenial age of twisted reason.

  82. I think you are missing the point Dom. Nick is a scrub and can easily be waived. DAR, on the other hand, is the anointed Lakers savior and potential future face of the franchise.

    Nick’s infedelity also has zero impact on the Lakers, while DAR’s actions has a direct impact on team chemistry as well as potential free agents.

    I think on an Oprah blog, Nick will deservedly get most of the blame. On a sports blog, DAR will and should get most of the blame.

  83. @Dom no offense but NY is a victim. DAR recorded him without his permission talking about something that he would want to stay private. Just because someone finds his totally legal behavior against their own values doesn’t mean that they are allowed to have violate the privacy of another illegally. And in the real world NBA guys do what Young did all the time. This is going to be a major problem for the P&G. And Russell is going to be hated by a large segment of the fans unless he is ready to start immediately delivering on his potential.

  84. DAR will be fine. Hes 20. He screwed up. He is learning a lesson he will never forget. If he fulfills his potential will any of us care about this, perhaps. I wont. Kids screw up. I have sons NY’s age and DAR’s age. They make choices they make mistakes. Before we rush to judgement, lets see what both have to say and move on. The Lakers are not moving the number 2 pick because NY got outed. So stop. NY was and is on his way out of the door and winning cures all ills. I doubt any of you are going to stop rooting for the Lakers because of this. If the Lakers win and DAR stars all of this will be a distant memory. Oh and if you are going to cheat, keep it to yourself and there wont be any issues.

  85. A big concern for me moving forward is that, IMO, one has to question the mindset of one D’Angelo Russell, the centerpiece of the Lakers’ young “core”. Understandably, because of his youth, he seems to be having trouble dealing with the trappings and temptations of an NBA career. It’s been reported by the people in charge of his professional development, the Lakers’ coaching staff, that he lacks focus at times and has a haphazard approach to his job. Again, understandable. At age 20, with sudden wealth and all the perks of being a pro athlete, it must be easy to get caught up in the peripheral distractions pertaining to his lifestyle.

    I see the potential in DAR’s game and if he remains a Laker I would love to see him excel. It’s obvious that Byron Scott is not a good coach, but he does have daily interaction with Russ and can far better assess his level of maturity and commitment at this stage of the young man’s career than those of us who are on the outside looking in.

    Dealing with social media is just as important as dealing with the press for these young pros. There will be mistakes made as DAR and other youngsters learn the nuances of the 24/7 media feeding frenzy. Again, I’m not going to totally condemn Russ. I just hope he realizes that he needs to prioritize his on court growth. Nothing is promised. He’s got to earn it.

  86. Ryan, you are either refusing to see that it was a silly prank, or are blowing it way out of proportion for personal reasons.

    Whatever it is, thank God, you and those like you are no level headed GM.

  87. From a basketball perspective who here would choose NY over DAR. Answer no one in their right mind. Years ago professional athletes we shielded from any responsibility for their actions. Whether it was Wilt, Magic, Shaq, or Kobe they didnt live in the TMZ fueled gossip column trash over substance media coverage we have today. Players slept with other players wives and girlfriends but you never heard about it. Fights happened but you never heard about it. People made mistakes but there werent camera phones and social media hovering over every second of an athletes life. This isnt Ray Carruth killing his girl friend and unborn child, or Gilbert Arenas pulling a gun in a locker room. Seriously you have a stupid kid making a mistake and a grown man cheating on his fiancee. And you all want to kill the kid? There are some interesting priorities at work in peoples lives. This is silly. Let Dar take responsibility admit he screwed up, do his penance and move on. This is business, not General Hospital or Ophrah. Lets get the front office fixed, get a decent coach with a system to implement and players to run it. DAR being a kid isnt the issue, JBuss, BScott, no plan no direction is the real problem this is just gossip page end of season silliness that will be forgotten

  88. Fantastic post Dom !
    Puts it in prefect perspective.

  89. Dom gets it. I’m tired of team sports loyalty somehow trumping true, real world morality. Let’s make it even clearer: what were their intentions? Nick intentionally cheated on his fiance and then bragged to an impressionable kid about it. DAR thought it would be funny to record it, and sent the video accidentally. One is stupid. The other is absolutely awful. DAR needs to grow up and so does the team. The real team sports loyalty would be to protect the rooks from themselves until they get used to the spotlight. The vets should understand this, but it sounds like they’re siding with the team cancer instead. Maturity and sports don’t often go together.

  90. Lots of posts on this topic,,
    KO
    feeling that, why is d’angelo even hanging out with nick young, he seems like someone to avoid, an underachieving, partying teammate, I’ve said awhile back these young players ( randle, russell, clarkson, and nance ) all seem like innocent young men. I would hate to see them look up to the nba players because they sleep around.

  91. Iggy azalea and nicki manaj should battle over who can wear the most make up

  92. very sad news about DAR, he showed his immaturity big-time and will probably regret it once his name go on the trade block… his value really went downhill.

    on to Laker basketball.