The Los Angeles Lakers are staying relevant in the 2015-16 NBA season, not because of their play, but because this is the final time we will be seeing Kobe Bryant. The team is currently dead last in the Western Conference and the Pacific Division with a putrid 11-45 record.
Although this season has been dedicated to Kobe Bryant, fans are also intrigued about the development of the younger players. The franchise must look towards the future and the only way to recreate success is to rebuild. The roster does have very talented rookies and sophomores and the Lakers will be relying on them to bring the franchise back to glory.
After the 119-113 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Bryant spoke to the media and talked about the job head coach Byron Scott has done, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Kobe credits Byron for developing the guys this season and staying even keel. Kobe dismissed the criticism Byron has received
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 20, 2016
Scott has been criticized often this season for the lack of playing time he is giving the younger players. In particular, fans are disappointed in his decision to bring rookie D’Angelo Russell off the bench and backing up Lou Williams.
Only recently has Scott given more playing time to Julius Randle and that was due to the injuries to Larry Nance Jr. Randle has been a double-double machine this season and deserves to be on the court more often. Nevertheless, Scott has said he plans to start Randle for the remainder of the season and it will be great to see how well he performs with the increased minutes.
The Lakers will not be making the playoffs this season and it will be tough seeing Bryant go out like this. Still, he shared his wisdom to the young stars and he did his part on paving the way for the next generation.