With the Lakers skidding to a 2-12 start, coach Byron Scott has found it necessary to block out “angry fans” calling for his job and other changes, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. Scott says he has a relative monitoring his Instagram account, and he has advised her not to respond to any of the complainers. “I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to fans because fans are fans,” Scott said. “Fans aren’t at practice every day. They don’t know the preparation. They don’t know what goes into it. They just see the end product, so they have no idea. And they all have their opinions, but I don’t put a lot of stock into it.” He said he hears from some fans who understand that the rebuilding process takes time, but most expect to win right away.
There’s more news out of Los Angeles:
- The danger of losing their first-round pick is hanging over the Lakers’ season, Holmes writes in the same piece. The pick is top-three protected and will go to the Sixers if it falls any lower than that. “I don’t think about that stuff right now,” Scott said. “To me, it’s impossible to think about the team and trying to get our young guys better and try to get our team better and then also think about a pick that’s six months away that you might not even get.” L.A. shipped the pick to Phoenix in the 2012 trade for Steve Nash, then the Suns sent it to Philadelphia in February in a three-way deal involving the Bucks.
- Count TNT analyst Charles Barkley among the observers who believe it’s time for Kobe Bryant to call it quits, according to Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “Somebody asked me how I knew it was time to retire,” Barkley related. “I said because I was pump-faking. So now I see Kobe and he’s pump-faking because he’s scared they are going to block his shot. That’s what the pump-faking is. People are knocking your shot into the stands.”
- Bryant’s rough start could make a split after this season much easier, contends J.A. Adande of ESPN.com. If Bryant continues playing the way he has so far — averaging 15.2 points per game on 31% shooting — Adande believes the Lakers have no obligation to bring him back for another year.