The Los Angeles Lakers Are Finally Like Everybody Else

For much, if not all, of their history, the Los Angeles Lakers have been NBA royalty. They've won far more than they've lost, with sharp coaching, revered stars and, above all else, Lady Luck permanently affixed on their shoulders. 

But the last few years have been nothing but gloom. In 2016, as they enter a scary post-Kobe Bryant universe, the Lakers sit in a ruined valley and are aware that zero rescue helicopters are in flight to pull them out.

It took awhile, but the Lakers are finally just like everybody else. The sooner they recognize it, the better. 

Last Sunday was Byron Scott’s final morning as head coach of a team he chaperoned into the NBA’s dankest cellar. The Lakers went 38-126 over the last two years with the 55-year-old in place, vomiting out a pair of the worst single-season records in franchise history. 

A failure of this magnitude is never any one person’s fault; Scott does not deserve all the blame for their struggle. He did not choose his players or put the organization in an unprecedented situation (thanks to a front office that splurged on “win-now” guys to appease Bryant, instead of win-later investments that will sustain the franchise’s growth for years to come). 

But he was the Lakers' face and voice every day. He held sacred bonds within the organization—in a past life, as a player, Scott helped lead Los Angeles to three championships—and at times it felt as if he’d live to coach another year. 

Before the regular-season finale, Scott spoke like a man who’d be back on the sidelines in 2016-17.

“I think sometimes you can’t help but think about [roster overhaul]. When you have this type of season that we’ve had, obviously changes are going to be made,” Scott said. “So I thought about that a month ago. This roster will probably be total...

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