Los Angeles Lakers Failing to Give Kobe Bryant What He Needs Most

The Los Angeles Lakers organization has failed to give Kobe Bryant the resources and support needed to succeed at this stage of his career.

It rode an aging superstar to exhaustion as the team headed down the up staircase. It filled in the gaps with some useful role players but neglected to sign the type of talent that puts a team over the top.

And, it hired a veteran coach in Byron Scott—a man whose purple and gold pedigree, and relationship with an aging superstar, was supposed to be beneficial and a harbinger of brighter times ahead.

That hasn't worked either.

At his introductory press conference, per Lakers.com, Scott said: “I know Kobe's will and determination. I think we're on the same page on how we think about this game and how it should be played.”

But as the season progressed, that “same page” allowed Bryant’s Icarus-like flight toward the sun as he piled up points, proved he was still fiercely competitive and then plummeted back to earth—his wings thoroughly scorched.

Now he has to rise from the ashes once again, like the reborn Phoenix.

This is no way to put together a winning season. When it came time for Scott to lead, he seemed either blinded by allegiance to an old friend, or simply star-struck. He built an homage to Kobe, not a team. 

The issue of playing time has been especially puzzling. Before training camp even began, Scott told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News: “We have a set amount of minutes. I’m going to stick to my guns if I think that’s going to be in his best interest. One thing I’ll never do is sacrifice a players’ health for a basketball game. I won’t do it.”

But by the time Bryant’s coach actually implemented that plan, it seemed like closing the barn door long after the horse had already limped out the door.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers