Wednesday 19th December 2018,

Byron Scott: Julius Randle Has ‘Gotta Grow Up’

Julius Randle

Never accuse Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott of delivering veiled messages.

You can accuse Hollywood’s head honcho of many things, including ignorance, inadvertently inconsistent messages and just general stubbornness. But you cannot say that he’s afraid to speak his mind, or that his players don’t know exactly how he feels about them, even if his feelings are downright wrong.

Take Julius Randle.

Scott has moved him to bench and slashed his minutes whenever he sees fit, and it’s no mystery as to why. Per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (h/t Lakers Nation):

Randle responded thusly:

In Scott’s defense, Randle is only 21 years old, so he, quite literally, has plenty of growing up to do.

In Randle’s defense, he is only 21 years old, so he, quite simply, needs those charged with his development to help him grow.

This is one of the great Byron Scott debates: Can he actually groom the Lakers’ youngsters, or is he just a face befitting times of war-weary losing? Does the franchise truly see him as the coach of the future, someone who will mentor Randle and Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell long term, or is he merely a stopgap that will disappear once Kobe Bryant retires?

Plenty of people trend toward the latter slants, not just because it’s more convenient, but because Scott’s decision-making, while perhaps rooted in illusion, gives the impression that he is someone coaching for his next job by trying to win as much as possible, only to deflect and liberally offer criticism when that flawed plan goes awry.

Regardless, the Lakers are the team Scott is coaching now, and Randle is one of the primary talents he has at his disposal. These two need to make it work, even if only temporarily, and that starts by getting on the same page.

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