The Los Angeles Lakers are not an organization that acts as one of the doormats of the league, but following the worst season in the Los Angeles era for the franchise, they sort of look just like that. While they've improved the roster of their team from last season, even the return of a healthy Kobe Bryant is unlikely to get them to a playoff return. Bryant is being a good teammate and leader about it but eventually it will wear thin on him because he can't accept losing and always dies to win.
Apparently, his former coach Mike D'Antoni didn't have the same thoughts on winning as Bryant did. Kobe told reporters that he only wants to win a championship or it's a waste of time, whereas D'Antoni's two seasons in Los Angeles may have had a different measurement of success.
Kobe: "DAntoni and I didn't have the same philosophy on winning. For me, it's winning and no inbtwn...it's championship or a waste of time"— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) September 29, 2014
D'Antoni's Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs in four games in 2013 after they had an embarrassingly disappointing regular season and were too injured to put up a fight against the San Antonio Spurs. The next season, Dwight Howard left and the Lakers were just filling the roster with cheap replacements as they waited to see Bryant's return from the Achilles' injury. D'Antoni got a horrendous roster to 27 wins, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep his job.
Bryant pushed for Byron Scott to get the coaching job this offseason and is a big fan of the change in coaches. From Arash Markazi at ESPN Los Angeles:
Bryant was one of the biggest proponents of the Lakers' hiring Scott in the offseason. Bryant played with Scott in his rookie season and has a good relationship with him. The two talked and texted on a regular basis this offseason and say they are on the same page going into training camp.
"It's a philosophical thing," Bryant said. "He agrees with me, and it's the Lakers organization. We're here for one reason only, and that's to hang championship banners, not division banners or conference banners or anything else. We don't do that. We focus on winning championships, and that's very important for our young guys to understand."
We'll see what the philosophy of this team is and how the relationship between Scott and Bryant is if this team struggles to find many victories this season. The Lakers are good enough to be much more competitive than they were last year, but will they be able to play acceptable defense? Scott has his work cut out for him.