Byron Scott says Lakers were scared against Thunder, players disagree

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The Kobe Bryantless Lakers got routed by Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder yesterday, 118-78.

Why?

Lakers coach Byron Scott, via Time Warner Cable SportsNet:

Kobe’s fearless. These guys looked like they were scared tonight or intimidated by Durant and Westbrook, for whatever reason. So, obviously the game got out of hand real quick and real early, and I thought those guys were just in attack mode from the start of the buzzer until the end. And our guys were on their heals all night long.

Asked what he learned and how he can teach the young players, Scott again blamed his players:

I don’t learn anything from it. The guys on the court have to learn from it. You know what I mean? They didn’t play well at all and really just got embarrassed by the way we played tonight. And like I told them, I said it was pathetic in every area. We didn’t come to compete. They just played harder than we did and like I said, it just looked like we were in awe of that team.

D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle disagreed, and it sounds as if Jordan Clarkson did, too.

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

Said Russell: “I can only speak for myself. I’m definitely not scared”

Said Randle: “We didn’t have energy. We didn’t play with energy. We didn’t play as a team. But we definitely weren’t scared.”

“It’s embarrassing,”Clarkson said. “I don’t know if I was scared. They just outcompeted us.”

It’s impossible to know what’s in someone else’s mind, and it’s difficult even to guess. Scott should have more insight into the thinking of his players than I do, but I’m unconvinced he’s positioned to make that observation.

The Lakers played lousy – no question. But they’re a bad team and poorly coached. They can get blown out without being scared.

This public disagreement doesn’t point to the situation improving. To the contrary, it could worsen.

How long until the Lakers’ young players tire of Scott putting Kobe on a pedestal? How long until they tire of Scott blaming them without looking in the mirror?

And how long until management tires of Scott, period?