Tag Archives: Byron Scott

Lakers’ Trip On The Magic Buss

The Los Angeles Lakers have set precedent when it comes to paying top-dollar. Kobe Bryant received a lucrative $48 million contract making him the NBA’s highest paid player after suffering a torn achilles.

Current Lakers owner Jim Buss continues to draw criticism for paying Bryant so richly during the twilight of his career. The reason why Buss took such a gamble on Bryant may have more to do with genetics than loyalty.

It was his late father and former Lakers owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, who made headlines in 1979 by lavishing rookie Earvin Magic Johnson with a 25-year, $25-million contract. It seemed ridiculous in the moment, most notably the the length of the agreement . But the NBA’s increased revenue and television ratings that followed confirmed Buss’s foresight.

The latter Buss has has proven he’s a gambler like his father. Selecting little known Andrew Bynum in the 2005 NBA Draft, and passing on Jahlil Okafor for D’Angelo Russell in the 2015 installment proved he’s more than willing to risk his chips.

Despite missing the playoffs the past two seasons, and being eliminated in the first-round twice before that, the Lakers continue to rake in the dough. Forbes estimates the Lakers are worth over $2.6 billion, most in the NBA. This is in large part due to their rich local TV deal with Time Warner ($4 billion over the next 20-years.)

Needless to say the team is striving monetarily. What’s forgotten in the midst of the newfound losing ways of the purple-and-gold is that the franchise ultimately exists to make money. Although hanging banners while entertaining the fans with a quality basketball product is a top priority, what really matters is the bottom line.

By that measure, Jim Buss has become more successful than his father.

His ability to generate capital has not freed him from being viewed by a large assortment as the chief culprit behind the demise of Lakers exceptionalism.

Their belief is that Dr. Buss would have convinced both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol to remain Lakers, and been able to lure Carmelo Anthony or LaMarcus Aldridge as he did with Shaquille O’Neal.

So as the Lakes go on to miss the playoffs for a third straight year during Bryant’s farewell tour, Magic Johnson believes it’s time for Buss to seek assistance.

“I love Jim Buss. He should just be the owner, like his dad was just the owner,” the Dodgers owner said. “Let’s go back with facts, so I can back this up with facts: 27 wins a couple years ago, 21 wins last year.”

ESPN Analyst Stephen A. Smith asserted that Johnson himself assume full control of the Lakers’ affairs. This season James Worthy joined the staff as a consultant. Others believe the Lakers have made a mistake by not having more of their hall-of-farmers in the mix. But then again, some of those same people are calling for the ousting of Byron Scott.

It was the Magic-Buss connection that sparked the beginning of the Showtime era. It remains to be seen what next Jim Buss will conjure up for Lakers fans.

Young Wants Lakers To Get Act Together

The ordinarily comical Nick ‘Swaggy P’ Young was sharply critical and disappointed with his Los Angeles Lakers team following a 103-91 loss to the (then) winless  Philadelphia 76ers.

“All I know is the circus came to town today and we did what we normally do,” said Young, referring to the increased media attention and arena demonstrations to honor Kobe Bryant following his retirement announcement.

The irony of Young, who is in a high-profile relationship with pop music artist Iggy Azalea, being concerned with distractions is that it was he who last season interrupted a post-game interview following a victory which ended up on Kobe Bryant’s Summer Jam screen on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

But after a season of being publicly scolded by Byron Scott for lackadaisical play, it is now Young going on the offensive in the media.

“It can’t be like a video game & you’re playing with your favorite player, you know,” said Young after a Lakers’ 111-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors. “We’ve all got to share the ball.”

It is no secret that the Lakers attempted to trade Young this offseason and had no takers. Their relationship became rocky with Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol after seasons of failed trade attempts.

Time will tell if Young is developing into a veteran who is more of a vocal leader, or has grown weary playing under the lights of the greatest show on earth.

We’re a circus,” chided Young. “We’re playing terrible. We lost to Philly. Philly! What does that make us?”

Kobe Starting To Phil It Up

After the Lakers 111-77 shellacking by the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant had a PHILosophical take on his abysmal 1-14 shooting performance.

“I feel okay. Just pissed. Just frustrated with what were doing,” Bryant said after the game. “It bothered me. So I got out of my Zen.”

There is a bit of irony in Bryant embracing Phil Jackson’s philosophy, which at one time he found boring and restrictive to his game.

As Bryant struggles through the 20th season of his career averaging 15 points shooting 31% from the field, he no longer has the comfort of the Triangle Offense at his disposal. Bryant thrived in that system which got him to his sweet spots on the court. It also helped him get open shots without having to beat defenders one-on-one, a daunting task now at his age.

The Lakers passed on re-rehiring Jackson in 2012 in leu of Mike D’Antoni.

This current Lakers team still hasn’t grasped their offensive philosophy, making it difficult on the 37-year old Tex Winter disciple.

“The way I played, the way I shot, blowing coverages defensively, coming down offensively and not having concept of what we’re trying to do,” Bryant exclaimed.

It is difficult enough for Bryant to be effective on offense with his age and mileage. What has made it worst is the Lakers inability to establish balance, something Jackson routinely preached.


 

Lakers Last Supper Portrait for the 2010 Lakers album 'Purple Reign'

Lakers Album: Purple Reign

Intro:

 

Lakers World Order Theme:

 

2 Sweet:

 

Gunz Blazing:

 

Light’s Out:

 

The Greatest Show:

 

Lakehouse:

 

Downtown Live:

 

The Hotness:

 

Lakers Haters:

 

Outro(Fame & Fortune) / Never Give Up:


BONUS TRACKS

The Public Option:

 

Count On Me:

Jordan Clarkson has that bounce in his game

Doc Rivers sent them boys at him.

After winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers held upstart Jordan Clarkson to 2 points in a 106-78 shellacking over the Los Angeles Lakers.

He had been the talk of the town, scoring 30 points against Russell Westbrook while putting together a string of impressive games against elite Western Conference point-guards. The Clippers were well aware of it. Paul, an MVP candidate, led the reality check against Clarkson, and the ‘Watts Towers ‘ duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan provided solid interior help-defense.

Clarkson was officially welcomed into relevancy  by getting schemed against on defense. 

What followed was a humiliating defeat for the Lakers which included a deficit of 43 points. Head Coach Byron Scott said he wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with some of the players who didn’t seem interested in competing. But how would Jordan Clarkson respond to having a bad game following his award-winning month?

Scott’s message resonated with the team,  and although the Lakes were again defeated by the Clips 105-100, they displayed more interest in not being completely humiliated. Clarkson finished with 20 points in 3 quarters and made adjustments to the attention he will now receive on defense. Instead of hanging his head in the face of a superior opponent, Clarkson accepted the challenge of knowing that he will be on the opposition’s radar screen. 

 Greatness is measured in part by how a player responds to adversity. Jordan Clarkson proved he has the mental toughness to accompany his gifted physical abilities.

 

Jordan Clarkson should make NBA All-Rookie Team

Most coups occur in the middle of the night when regime change by force is unexpected. The Los Angeles Lakers executed one in plain sight during the 2014 NBA Draft with their selection of Jordan Clarkson.

Clarkson was the 46th pick in the second-round.  His 10 ppg average is more than the point-guards selected ahead of him, most notably lottery picks Dante Exum (4), and Marcus Smart (7), and LeBron James recruit, Miami’s Shabazz Napier (5). Milwaukee’s Tyler Ennis is averaging 3 ppg after being selected 18th, Detroit Piston Spencer Dinwiddie (4), and Houston Rocket Nick Johnson (2) were both selected ahead of Clarkson.  

Despite the Lakers’ forgettable season, Jordan Clarkson has taken it upon himself to remind everyone why teams had him as a first-round selection on many draft boards.

Clarkson recently scored a career-high 30 points against MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, drawing faint comparisons by Lakers Head Coach Byron Scott to the athletic scoring OKC Thunder point-guard.

Clarkson’s steal and furious slam dunk on Exum in a 100-97 Lakers win over the Jazz was evidence that he is further along in his game than the 19-year-old Aussie. Some may still believe Exum has a higher ceiling, but Clarkson’s college experience at Missouri is evident in his polished game.

After beginning the season in the shadows of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash,  and  Jeremy Lin, Clarkson is poised to finish at the controls. His dynamic play has earned trust from his coaches and teammates.

His statistical averages of 10 points 2 rebounds and 2 assists alone garner All-Rookie recognition. But Jordan Clarkson is providing Lakers’ fans with realistic hope for next year.  For that seemingly insurmountable task alone, he should be rewarded.

Jordan Clarkson is ready to be an L.A. Boss

 

It wasn’t simply Jordan Clarkson’s throw down dunk on Dante Exum. It was him stealing the ball from the Australian sensation beforehand which initiated the instant classic hi-lite. Los Angeles Lakers rookie Jordan Clarkson symbolically had his coming out party in a 100-97 win in Utah against the Jazz.

While the Lakers are racking up injuries, DNP-CD’s, and overall bad vibes, Jordan Clarkson infused hope for the future with one facial that will surely stay in rotation for seasons to come.

Clarkson has now earned league-wide credibility.  Players are wacthing YouTube, Vine, and are just as engaged on Twitter as any fan. Best believe the next defender will think twice about challenging Jordan Clarkson at the rim, lest they get Dante Exumed. There is visual evidence that he got game. Jordan Clarkson wants to be that dude and his chance has arrived.

Now this may not have been Jordan in the back-court Kobe Bryant dreamt of playing alongside in his fleeting thoughts to sign  with the Washington Wizards earlier in the decade. But Clarkson’s tenacity fulfills the prerequisite of being accepted by Bryant. After years of having to defend the other teams point guards, Clarkson’s athleticism should relieve Bryant of the burden for the remainder of his career. Defensively the Lakers can finally address Stephen Curry, Damian Lilliard, Russell Westbrook, and the long list of guards who dominate the Western Conference.

With four draft-picks this off-season, and the return of Julius Randall, Jordan Clarkson is poised to lead the youth movement in Los Angeles.

 

Steve Nash, Lakers, are having fun clowning around and beefing on Twitter

Just when you thought things could not become more weird in Lakerland, two-time MVP Steve Nash decided to joust with a Twitter user. In response to a Tweet, the injured Lakers’ guard replied “I’m the hardest 41 yr old you know Brodie. Watch your mouth or temecula.”

Steve Nash or temecula

Steve Nash warns fan about how hard he is

This comes on the heels of Nick ‘Swaggy P’ Young, Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin embarrassing this once proud franchise in a post-game interview after winning an overtime game against the Boston Celtics, ending an eight-game losing streak. Kobe Bryant appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show and had a classic “Kobe state” reaction to his teammates antics. Coach Byron Scott joined in Kobe’s lack of enthusiasm:

“Kobe’s reaction was pretty much my reaction when I was watching it,” Scott said. “I was just shaking my head like, ‘I can’t believe this. That’s not us as Lakers. That’s not how we act. It showed a lack of professionalism.”

This just may be the worst Lakers team in history, but that hasn’t stopped them from keeping social-media sites popping with their non-basketball chicanery. Steve Nash may have gotten the “lolz,” but I’m pretty sure Lakers’ fans would prefer to see him run pick-and-roll instead of his videos playing golf and talking about how “hard” he is on Twitter.

Nick Young not happy with Swaggy DNP

Nick Young spent the second-half of the Lakers 99-87 loss to the Houston Rockets on the bench after a lackluster effort over two quarters. He went scoreless for the first time in his Lakers’ career, putting up 2 shots in nine mercurial minutes.

With Kobe Bryant out, along with injuries to Steve Nash, Julius Randal, and Xavier Henry, Young certainly has the green-light to put up shots. But Head Coach Byron Scott is known for his old school style of leadership, and accountability on the defensive end of the floor is just as important as scoring points. Scott alluded to Young’s disinterest as the catalyst to him being benched after halftime.

“It looked to me that he didn’t want to be here,” explained Scott.

“At halftime, we showed stuff on the tape where he was guarding Corey Brewer in the corner. I asked ‘What were you thinking on his play?’ The answer he gave me, I couldn’t figure it out. So I just felt with his body language that he didn’t want to play tonight, so I chose not to play him.”

“He’s the coach.  He’s seen what he’s seen.  It’s not my place to get into that really,” said Young a day after not speaking with the media following the loss.  “I’m not in a situation to go back and forth with the coach because I would never play.

“There ain’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to be out on the court,”he continued.  “I love being here.  I love playing basketball.  I get a joy out of playing and seeing the fans, hearing them chant ‘Swaggy P.’ That’s what drives me.”

Young has had trouble adjusting to receiving more attention from opposing defenses since Bryant’s absence.

“Last night the Rockets double-teamed me every time I came off pick and rolls,” said Young.  “It’s tough but we’ve got to go out there and still fight, still gotta give fans a show.  It’s a chance for other people to step up now.”

Young is shooting 37% from the field, the same as fallen teammate Kobe Bryant who had been ridiculed for his inaccuracy. Still Young is confident he can carrying the offensive load.

“Just give me the ball and get out of the way.”

Kobe Bryant, Lakers Sell Magic Beans

When he isn’t dishing out punishment in practice, Kobe Bryant is handing out assists for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Having grown weary of the spotty play of point guard Jeremy Lin, Head Coach Byron Scott has used Bryant as the primary ball handler in the back-court along with Nick Young. It has been an early success with the Lakers picking up consecutive victories against the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs.

Bryant has played facilitator before in his career in Phil Jackson’s Triangle Offense. The Triangle didn’t require a traditional point guard, but an “initiator” who could start the offense. After the conclusion of the Shaquille O’Neal era, Bryant became the Apex of the offense where plays would go through him that setup shots for others.

Nick Young scored 29 points in the Lakers’ 112-110 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Kobe Bryant finished with nine assists and is only nine points away from replacing Michale Jordan for number three on the NBA’s All-Time Scorers list.

Continuing A Historic Season

He became the all-time leader in missed field-goals, the only player to score over 30,000 points with 6,000 assists, and is eight points away from tying Michael Jordan in career points. Now Kobe Bryant is about to add a defensive accomplishment to the list.

Bryant is tied with James Worthy for sixth on the Lakers’ career blocks list with 624, and needs five blocks to pass Andrew Bynum for fifth all-time.  Ahead of Bynum is Vlade Divac (834), Elden Campbell (1022) Shaquille O’Neal (1278), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2694).