The Lakers are facing a crisis.
Players are reportedly isolating D'Angelo Russell after he recorded – and reportedly posted to Snapchat – a video of Nick Young discussing being with women other than his fiancée, Iggy Azalea. Some even believe the division within the team contributed to the Lakers’ 48-point loss to the Jazz on Monday.
This has potential to spin out of control, if it hasn’t already.
What is Lakers coach Byron Scott going to do about it?
Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Scott isn’t internal anymore?
I don’t blame Scott for not wanting to deal with this. It’s an uncomfortable situation created by a comically stupid mistake. Most of the team seems to be siding with the overpaid journeyman over the promising, young point guard. Scott simply can’t force players to forgive and trust Russell.
But this is Scott’s job.
He needs to prepare the Lakers to play basketball, and I don’t see how they’ll be ready with this hanging over their heads. He needs to develop Russell, and I don’t see how that’s not stunted if his teammates loathe him.
Letting the players handle this on their own has reportedly led to Russell being shunned. I believe this will eventually pass, but the Lakers should do all they can to accelerate the process. Russell is too valuable to the team to let this linger.
Scott – with his vast experience in locker rooms as a player – could help facilitate communication that eases tension. If he’s unwilling to do the job, the Lakers should find a new coach who is.