Rumors are rampant across the SoCal basketball world that the vacationing millionaire is back from his latest respite and just might show up for work at Staples Center tonight. Having been busy sipping Pina Coladas and counting his $23 million while the team whose ownership signs his paychecks was losing to Portland on Sunday, as he was the prior Monday when they also lost to Portland, Kobe Bryant should be rested and ready to run up and down the court tonight, for at least 30 minutes. Maybe.
With or without him, the Lakers’ won-lost records are almost identical over the past three weeks, 2-4 without him and 2-3 with him, but he’s chosen to miss games against Golden
|State, Dallas, Chicago and Portland (plus Orlando), while plying his sore and aging wares against the likes of Indiana and Denver, in addition to the Clippers, Phoenix and Memphis. But, who surrounds him is just as big an issue, as the sleepwalking coach, Byron Scott, choses which slugs from the least talented roster in the NBA to also put on the court. The decisions he's making are hurting the team even more than the absence of the vacationing millionaire.||
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Among anyone currently on the Lakers’ active roster, the one guy who has a future with an improved future squad, is Jordan Clarkson. Last Wednesday, Clarkson got a shot to play against the Clippers, and he delivered, scoring 14 points and playing very well overall, in 20 minutes. Silly me, I thought that that could be the start of something big. But, alas, in the two subsequent games, Clarkson saw the court for a total of seven minutes, none of them in the last game, against Portland. Instead of giving court time to a potential future stalwart, Scott choses to still give the bulk of the time at point guard to the worst shooting guard in the NBA, the worthless ronnie price.
We’ve now also seen Tarik Black get 37 minutes of playing time in the last two games, hitting all seven of his shots and scoring a total of 20 points and pulling down 15 boards. Yet, Ed Davis, Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer continue to get the bulk of the four and five spot time, with Black still a fourth-quarter afterthought.
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|Worst of all, is Scott's, and the press', fascination with the worst defensive player in the NBA, former trojan party-boy nick young. At his best, young gives up far more points than he could EVER hope to score, and when he is in one of his very frequent scoring slumps, the new normal, he is totally pathetic, but still is on the court, thank you Mr. Scott. For the record, young has hit three of his last 24 three-point attempts over his last four games, and overall has shot 23% (12-of-52) over that|
The Lakers are a mess, from the vacationing millionaire’s impact on the team, to the talentless roster, to the horrible decisions being made by the somnambulant coach. Kobe will likely play tonight against the Jekyll-and-Hyde Miami Heat, who can look great one night with superstar performances from Chris Bosh and the resurrected Hassan Whiteside, and terrible the next, and against the defenseless Lakers, odds are it will be a hot night for the Heat.