Despite one of their more inspiring efforts against the Minnesota Timberwolves, this 2015-16 NBA season is still not going the way Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss had hoped.
The Lakers stand 3-19 and head coach Byron Scott has come under a lot of criticism, though Kupchak recently came out and said he deserved some blame as well.
One of the main complaints about Scott has been how he has handled the Lakers young core, particularly Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell. According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Kupchak and Buss plan to meet with Scott at the conclusion of the team’s road trip to discuss that subject:
“The Lakers have granted Scott the autonomy to coach his team without interference. But Kupchak and/or Buss will likely meet with Scott next week after the team’s eight-game trip to gain a better understanding of his thought process on how he will develop the team’s young players, according to a team source familiar with the situation.”
While many fans have called for Scott to be fired, that still doesn’t seem to be the case as Medina also notes that both Kupchak and Buss sympathize the situation that Scott is in:
“The Lakers are not happy with the persistent losing, obviously. But Kupchak and Buss sympathize with Scott on handling what one team source called “a no-win situation.”
Scott definitely is in an unenviable position of trying to balance Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour with developing the young players. Kobe has continued to be the focal point of the offense and Scott seems content to let that continue.
It has been difficult at times for players like Russell and Randle who have basically deferred to Kobe, and many believe, stunted their development. Both played major minutes against the Timberwolves and Scott said that the young players will begin to run things more as the season goes on, so changes could be in store.