The Los Angeles Lakers introduced head coach Byron Scott on Tuesday, and Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Jamaal Wilkes were on hand to support their former Showtime teammate.
Kareem says: "Welcome home, B. We're going to be down there bothering you every night."— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) July 29, 2014
Magic to Byron at press conference: "We wish we could put on a uniform for you and help you."— Lee Jenkins (@SI_LeeJenkins) July 29, 2014
There are two ways to look at all this:
1. The Lakers are embracing their history and this is a good thing. After a two tough seasons with Mike Brown and Mike D'Antoni, Los Angeles has a capable leader on the bench who can bring the team back to respectabiilty and, eventually, relevance.
2. The Lakers are distracting everyone from reality with a dog and pony show. The team is going nowhere for at least a season, and the Laker mystique will be irrelevant when games start and Los Angeles is overmatched just about every night in the West.
A measured take: since the Lakers are so far away from contention, why not trot these guys out? The organization can't exactly sell fans on the immediate future, so it's selling them on the past. Scott is a Bryant favorite and, if he can keep his star relatively happy for the next two years, you can call this a successful hire. Of course, if Los Angeles is at the bottom of the conference in December, you won't see a ton of smiley Laker legends at Staples Center. It's unlikely, though, that any coach would be able to accelerate the rebuilding process with this roster.