I only caught a glimpse of the final few minutes of Lakers vs. Thunders game last night and don’t have time to re-watch it at the moment. I was at a bar so couldn’t hear the sound of the game and wasn’t paying much attention to the game, which was shown in a small TV at the bar I was at. I only mention this, because I’m not sure if my recollection of the game is correct and hope you can clarify for me. Was Lin playing in the final minutes of the game? And did Lin take it upon himself to hit the second to last shot of the game? And did Lin pass the ball to Wayne Ellington rather than Kobe in the third to last shot of the game? Also, was Nick Young not in at the end of the game? Did Lin finish the game because something happened to Nick Young, so BS had no choice but to let Lin close out the game? I tried to find some article about Nick Young being injured, but couldn’t find anything. Nothing seemed to make any sense (in a good way) with the Lakers game vs. Thunder. So I’m not sure if I was losing my mind or not.
A lot of things didn’t make sense (again, in a very good way) in Lakerland, last night, and it’s all because Lin was in the game in the final minutes and actually allowed to play Point Guard. Of course, Kobe did take and miss yet another game winner (12 consecutive game winner misses for Kobe now, which ties his career worse), so in that sense, business as usual in Lakerland. But from the little that I saw of the game, it was the oddest treatment Lin has gotten from Byron Scott since after the Timberwolves game, albeit, Lin still only played 22:14 minutes. So maybe BS’s treatment of Lin was still bad, but I just saw the moments where Lin was played the right way at the end of the game. Did Lin just decide to defy BS and go off on his own? I don’t know. What was your take? Was Lin played the right way vs. Thunder and if so did you also find it as odd as I did?
My interpretation of the odd way in which Lin was used (in this case, odd actually means that Lin was allowed to play the right way) last night tells me that the Lakers organization is starting to realize that they may need to ease up on how awful they’ve been mistreating Lin ever since after the Timberwolves game, because it could back fire on them and not allow them to accomplish their goal, which is to retain Lin as their back up PG of the future. They may be starting to realize that if they keep mistreating Lin so miserably, he will not want to stay with the Lakers no matter what and opt to go to another team no matter how bad the situation is with the other team. So I think maybe the Lakers now realize that they need to figure out the PERFECT balance of how to keep Lin’s stats down, without demoralizing Lin and Lin’s fan base so Lin still decides to re-sign with the Lakers, since he won’t get any better offers (not just money-wise).
This is a very delicate balance that the Lakers have to figure out, so I anticipate even more inconsistent treatment of Lin going forward. In short, things will get even odder for Jeremy Lin. Sometimes Lin will be allowed to play his game, sometimes he may not. But I suspect they’ll ease up just a little (again, they still need to communicate that Lin is not an asset to any team) on throwing Lin under the bus going forward. But, of course, I’m not sure if my interpretation of last night’s game was correct. So this whole discussion about Lakers being wise to how their demotion of Lin could backfire may be totally off base. The reason I posed the title of this article in the form of a question is because I’m not sure if my interpretations of last night’s game was correct, since I only caught a tiny bit of it.
[EDITING NOTE: I changed the title of this post from “Lakers Organization Catching on to How their Demotion of Jeremy Lin Could Back Fire?” to “Everything for Jeremy Lin Changed Abruptly and Drastically after Scott Met with Kupchak end of November” because the latter title is actually the real crux of this post. Also, after learning more baout what happened in the game vs. Thunder, it is clear that Scott was simply FORCED to let Lin close out the game due to Nick Young being ejected. I also think Lin just took matters into his own hands and played his game, instead of listening to Scott and deferring to Kobe, as usual. So it turns out that nothing too special happened in the Thunder game in terms of Lakers making any sort of pivot when it comes to Jeremy Lin. So I felt the old title for this post was no longer relevant. I have been meaning to post about Scott’s meeting with Kupchak, but thought it would have been strange to just post about that and ignore what I thought were very odd things that occurred in the Thunder game. So I felt I had to mention something about it. But now that it’s clear nothing really interesting happened, I had to change the title of this post to reflect the crux of this post, which is that everything for Lin changed abruptly and drastically after BS met with Kupchak.]
I know I sound like I’m some sort of stubborn maniac, who’s unwilling to let go of my crazy conspiracy theory, but I write what I feel honestly, even if this makes me come off a some sort of lunatic. I don’t really care how I come off, all that matters to me is that I speak the truth as I see it. And to me, what has gone on in Lakerland–especially with Lin’s treatment–is too bizarre to not buy into my conspiracy theory.
Yes, Byron Scott is not a good coach. Yes, Byron Scott does not believe in Lin. Yes, there is tremendous bias against Lin by the NBA in general. But these things STILL don’t explain the insanity that’s been going on in Lakerland immediately right after the Timberwolves game. It’s definitely not business as usual in Lakerland and when you have a team and a coach that treats Lin worse than McHale, then there HAS to be more going on than the usual Lin doubter/bias thing that Lin confronts on a regular basis.
I think with McHale it was all about bias, so McHale’s treatment of Lin was at least explainable from that stand point. There was no conspiracy there, except that McHale was a Jeremy Lin hater (I realize now that McHale is more than just a Lin doubter) and wanted to prove that his decision to wave Lin in the first place was correct. So there was a simple explanation there. I still believe that no coach will ever surpass McHale in their bias against Lin. But Byron Scott’s treatment of Lin right after the Timberwolves game far surpasses any ill treatment McHale ever gave Lin, so there is definitely something fishy going on that is more than just the usual bias that Lin faces. And my intuition tells me that Byron Scott is not more biased against Lin than McHale is. So none of it adds up for me, thus, only the conspiracy theory makes any sense.
With Lin in LA and how he’s been treated by Byron Scott, there is not a simple explanation. It’s not just about bias against Lin. There’s a lot more to it and I’m too lazy to really lay this out very clearly for everyone. If I could have a conversation with all of you one-on-one, then I think I will be able to really break it down for you, because I would be able to respond to whatever specific doubts you may have to my conspiracy theory (since I’ve thought about them all). The problem with writing this out is that it’s way too cumbersome and lengthy to incorporate all the specific doubts that I anticipate people having about my conspiracy theory and it’s hard for me to anticipate how people will interpret what I write anyhow. But if I could have a dynamic conversation one-on-one it’ll be much easier for me to figure out where your doubts are coming from and respond to them accordingly in a way that would help you mitigate those doubts.
Anyway, until I see something that leads me to believe that my conspiracy theory is not correct, I’ll continue to discuss it, because it’s hard for me to take anything going on in Lakerland seriously when I feel very strongly about my conspiracy theory being the explanation for all of the insanity going on. To me, in a sense, there really is nothing else to talk about. Again, this doesn’t mean that I think BS would otherwise be a good coach. BS is a bad coach with or without the conspiracy theory (and BS would still worship Kobe and mismanage Kobe in the EXACT same way with or without the conspiracy theory). But Byron Scott is just not THIS insane. NO ONE is!
I was informed, recently by @nhawj44 on Twitter, that BS met with Mitch Kupchak after the Timberwolves game and had a sort of State of the Union meeting. For me, everything changed abruptly and drastically–especially for Lin after this game. And I mentioned this in my previous articles even when I wasn’t aware that this meeting between BS and Kupchak took place.
I don’t know if you guys recall, but in the game vs. Raptors on November 30th, which is right after the Timberwolves game, there looked to be a concerted effort to ice Lin out right at the start of that game. If you recall in all the games prior to the Raptors game, the Lakers let Lin play freely at the start of games and only end up losing their way starting in the second quarter and end up not playing Lin the right way due to lazy habits. I’ve made comments about this. And this is why it was very apparent to me that there was an orchestrated effort to ice Lin out in the Raptors game, because Lin wasn’t allowed to play freely at the start of the game. I think many Lin fans forget that Lin actually got to play his game to start a lot of games before the Timberwolves game, because they let whatever is happening right now with Lin cloud their memory of the past. The truth is, Lin didn’t have it so bad in Lakerland before the Timberwolves game. The nightmare only suddenly started right after BS met with Kupchak.
The Raptors game was really the first game Kobe acted as THE point guard consistently for the entire game all season (of course, that’s been a regular thing for Kobe ever since that game). I think a lot of people have short term memories and their assessment of the past gets clouded by the present. But early in the season, Kobe and Lin actually made it work in a lot of games and Kobe made a concerted effort to look for Lin–especially in mid to late November. Kobe was also Lin’s biggest supporter before the Timberwolves game. But all this changed drastically overnight after BS met with Kupchak.
At the time when I made comments about how it looked like there was an orchestrated effort to ice Lin out in the Raptors game, I wasn’t aware of the meeting between BS and Kupchak. But now that I am, I have no doubt that my intuition at the time was correct. There was an orchestrated effort to ice Lin out as a way to set up Lin being pulled from the starting lineup which occurred after Lin’s oddest benching of Lin’s career in the Celtics game.
I know this is all really convoluted and I’m jumping all over the place. This is all really frustrating for me to write, because I know if I were to lay this all out for you brick-by-brick, it would be a very painstaking task and I’m just too lazy at the moment to do so. So all I can offer you (for now) is very convoluted writing.
Anyway, now that I know there was a meeting between BS and Kupchak, I feel even more strongly about my conspiracy theory that the Lakers only care about three things this season and none of those things have anything to do with winning games:
- Kobe gets his stats and finishes off his career strong (that’s why they keep Kobe in there during garbage time if Kobe hasn’t achieved good stats) so Kobe can keep fans interested to continue to watch the games.
- Lakers lose enough so they get the #5 pick, but not too much so that they lose the pick to Phoenix.
- Keeping Lin in check so Lin does poorly and won’t get attractive offers from other teams and they can retain Lin as their back up PG of the future. Also, they don’t want Lin ruining their tank plans by playing to win.
I think the Lakers organization anticipated that they may have to tank this season. So when they were trying to find a coach, they had that idea in mind. They likely discussed this idea to BS even during the hiring process and BS was desperate enough to be amenable to the idea. And that’s one of the reasons they ended up hiring BS (that and they wanted to rally Lakers diehards to root for one of their own).
So BS’s hiring had little to do with winning basketball games to begin with. I think early in the season, the Lakers were trying to get a feel for the team. See what this team is capable of. Lakers management may have been secretly hoping Lakers lose games, but they weren’t ready to make a concerted effort to tank, just yet. But after November, I think the Lakers organization felt like they saw enough out of this team and concluded that this team wasn’t capable of making the playoffs. So Kupchak had that meeting with BS to share with BS the three things that are important to the Lakers this season, as I’ve laid out above. I’m sure Kupchak didn’t put it in those exact words as I’ve laid them out, but it’s something along those lines.
I think after this meeting, BS shared with Kobe (likely at the request of Kupchak) what the Lakers organization want to accomplish this season. It would have been very suspicious if Kobe was in the meeting with BS and Kupchak, so that’s why Kupchak just told BS to share what went down in the meeting with Kobe rather than doing it directly himself.
I know a lot of Lin fans have a totally different narrative of Kobe’s role in Lin’s demotion, etc. than I. But, again, I just speak what I see as the truth, even if it means alienating Lin fans. Here’s what I think is going on. Tanking and Lin’s demotion is not Kobe’s idea, but Kobe is willing to go along with all of it out of a sense of loyalty to the Lakers organization. I blame Kobe only for being a coward for not stopping the nonsense. But, at the same time, understand that he would value his loyalty to an organization that’s been extremely loyal to him than his loyalty to Lin, who he has just gotten to know. So I totally get where Kobe is coming from. That still doesn’t stop me from tweeting Kobe regularly and calling Kobe out on being a coward for not putting a stop to it, because it’s a disgraceful way to end his career and I know it’s something he will regret much later in life when he reflects on how he ended his career, which will become very very important to him. Of course, he doesn’t realize all of this now, which is why I keep tweeting Kobe to help “save his soul” for lack of a better phrase.
I know a lot of Lin fans think that Kobe doesn’t want Lin to overshadow him and so is doing everything in his power to demote Lin. I don’t think this is the case. Sure, Kobe has a big ego, but he was also the biggest proponent of Lin very early in the season. And Kobe was all smiles and gushed at how Lin waved him off to hit a three with Chris Paul all over his face. Again, I think people let present conditions cloud their recollection of the past. Kobe was the best teammate to Lin, but everything changed overnight after the Timberwolves game. In that Raptors game after the Timberwolves game, Kobe completely iced Lin out. But before this game, Kobe actually made concerted efforts to find Lin–especially mid to late November. Lin and Boozer were like the only players Kobe would actually look to pass to. And if you recall at the beginning of the season right before the Clippers game, it was Kobe who reached out to Lin and Boozer on Twitter for a strategy session.
I don’t think a person can radically change their opinion on another person of their own accord. There has to be some drastic stimulus to cause one to radically change their opinion on someone. And Kobe is as stubborn a they come so Kobe won’t suddenly change his belief in Lin overnight out of the blue. But Kobe’s attitudes towards Lin has been pretty much night and day before and after the Timberwolves game. The “drastic stimulus” that caused this change in Kobe’s attitudes towards Lin is because after the Timberwolves game, it was relayed to Kobe that the Lakers want to keep Lin in check so they can keep Lin as their back up PG of the future. Before the Timberwolves game, Kobe would go out of his way to mention Lin in post game interviews. But ever since then, you don’t hear much at all from Kobe about Lin. In fact, Kobe’s pretty much been phoning in his post game interviews, lately, whereas he showed a lot of passion in his earlier post game interviews–especially vs. the Clippers in which Lin waved him off. To me, this is extremely odd and goes against normal human behavior.
Byron Scott’s attitudes towards Lin has also taken a pretty dramatic turn, although, not as drastic as Kobe’s has, ever since the Timberwolves game. Byron Scott went from, for example, blaming himself for his miscommunication with Lin in the Grizzlies game back on November 11th, to throwing Lin under the bus any chance he gets ever since after his meeting with Kupchak. BS blames Lin for everything now and has been awful in how he talks about Lin. Again, people have short term memories, but BS wasn’t like this towards Lin before his meeting with Kupchak. I’m not saying that BS was overly positive towards Lin, either. I’m just saying that BS wasn’t overly negative towards Lin as BS is now. Also, before the meeting with Kupchak, although BS’s treatment of Lin wasn’t great, it was still much better than McHale’s treatment of Lin. But suddenly after BS’s meeting with Kupchak, BS’s treated Lin far worse than McHale ever did. I don’t know why nobody else notices this. I think it’s because people let current events influence their memory of past events. Again, BS’s attitudes towards Lin changed overnight after his meeting with Kupchak. I find this extremely odd, because it goes against normal human behavior. The only thing that explains this odd human behavior for me is that Kupchak tasked BS with keeping Lin in check at the behest of the Lakers owners so they have a chance at keeping Lin as their future back up PG, primarily for Lin’s marketability.
Another piece if “evidence” for my conspiracy theory that has come to light recently is the Lakers’s attempt to get Rondo. I don’t know why it seems like I’m the only one that finds it odd that Lin wasn’t one of the pieces included in the Lakers attempt to get Rondo. Now, let’s be clear, I don’t think the Lakers were really serious about getting Rondo in the first place this season, since they want to tank, and I’m not sure the Celtics would want Lin at all so I’m not saying including Lin in trade for Rondo would have helped the Lakers. These are all beside the point.
The point is, based on how the Lakers have been treating Lin like garbage, you would think that that means they don’t want Lin on the team. I mean, under normal circumstances, this would be the case. So you would think that the Lakers would find all sorts of ways to get rid of Lin. And the thing with the Rondo trade is that including Lin makes complete sense. In fact, it would be going out of your way to not include Lin in that trade. This is why it’s so odd to me that Lin wasn’t a part of that trade. I guess one could argue that the Lakers still want to keep Lin as a back up PG–even without my conspiracy theory being in play–so that’s why they wouldn’t include Lin in the deal. But I think under normal circumstances, including Lin as one of the pieces to try and get Rondo would still be the way to go, because they can always find some other back up PG if they think Lin is nothing special.
Where my conspiracy theory comes into play is that the Lakers actually do think Lin is something special–and not just from a marketability stand point. I think Lin’s marketability is a large part of the conspiracy theory, but I think the Lakers also think Lin is talented, but just not talented enough to be a staring point guard. However, based on how they’ve been mistreating Lin, it is saying that they think Lin is complete garbage. So based on that, it would make total sense for the Lakers to include Lin in an attempt to get Rondo, again, because from their treatment of Lin they are saying that Lin is easily replaceable. So the fact that the Lakers didn’t include Lin in their attempt to get Rondo is very suspicious to me. This is just one, of many examples of all the oddness going on in Lakerland–especially when it comes to Lin. A lot of things just simply don’t add up and I think this is just another piece if “evidence” to support my conspiracy theory. I realize this is all extremely convoluted and very repetitive reasoning, but it’s because I’m way too lazy right now to lay this out clearly for you.
I get a lot of questions about tanking. People assume that when an organization wants to tank, it’s very obvious and people assume tanking is a very simple thing. Well, tanking is different to different organizations. I think for the Lakers, tanking is not a simple thing. They’re a storied franchise, so they have to really hide their tanking efforts. They also want to continue to keep fans interested for financial reasons (I’ve talked about this in previous articles, but the Buss’s care about making money more so than other owners, since the Lakers is their primary source of income), so they can’t just go out every night and look to play awfully every single night. Also, only BS and Kobe are in the know about the Lakers organization’s desire to tank, so all the other players on the team are still trying to do their best to win games. And this is precisely one of the reasons they need to make sure to keep Lin in check. I mean, Lin almost ended up winning the game vs. the Thunder last night. So the Lakers will win some games they didn’t mean to win and lose some games that they meant to win.
The other thing that I think is going on is that there is still a struggle internally about whether or not to tank. I mean, when you’re talking about a competitor like Kobe, it’s not a simple thing to tank. I think Kupchak, in the meeting, expressed the desires of the Lakers organization, but I’m sure that BS and Kobe still have in their mind that they may still be able to convince Kupchak that the Lakers are competitive enough to make the playoffs. As a coach, I’m sure the last thing you want to do is coach a team to tank. So, as bad of a coach as BS is, I’m sure he also would prefer not to tank. So this is the other reason why tanking is not a simple thing. I mean, when Kobe is on the court in the final minutes, he may know that he has to throw the game, but his competitive spirit, I think, will often get the better of him and so I think in the moment, he gets lost and still ends up trying to win the game. It’s like a prize fighter who can stand to make a lot of money if he just threw the fight, but can’t get himself to do it all the time, because of his competitive instincts. So I’m sure a lot of that is going on with the Lakers tanking situation as well. Right now, it’s still very early in the season, so the margin of error for tanking is very wide. So Kobe will be forgiven for letting his competitive instincts dictates how he plays. In short, tanking is not a simple matter–especially when Kobe is involved.