Set up to Fail : by Chirico
Regardless the accuracy of the story in the movie “Gladiator”, there is some memory in me that begs to relate it to JLin’s basketball story before and after Linsanity.
Some folks refer PG as floor general, JLin, somewhat resembles Maximus, the general of the mighty Roman Empire, who got thrown out of his commander role, almost got killed and became a slave. Then, he got back to Rome and was sold to get wasted in the cruel game that many roman enjoyed, he fought numerous battles in the famous Roman coliseum. In there, against all odds, unfair treatment and officiating e.g. he brought group of scrubs together and won over Roman fighters of superior physical strength, combat skills, and equipped with much better weapon. That was the highlight of the movie.
We don’t know if we will see similar ending like what the movie concluded. However, I find JLin has gone through that part of story at least twice already. Again, before and after Linsanity. During his high school and colleague basketball days, he was told that he could not play basketball like other non-Asian kids, he was denied by all famous colleague strong in basketball sports. And Linsanity happened, after that, we witnessed that he had excruciating two years in Houston and now an unbelievable worst situation in LA Land. A super roller coaster ride from Nov to Dec 2014. However, He just kept fighting and kept his chin up. Just two weeks ago, as a bench player for the Lakers, he was nominated as the player of the week by Time Warner. Then we saw Bryant took over his job by being the PG himself and tried to control the game, afraid of losing the control of the team in which he is worshiped by pretty much most Lakers from head coach BS to bench players.
Now Bryant finally got what he deserved, an over-used 36 years body. Is this a sign that our beloved JLin finally gets to run the team? Let’s quickly do a reality check. We know there are snakes in Lakers, for one, the black Mamba. Borrowing coach BS’s analogy, the head of the the snake in Ronnie Price for two. These snakes were doing their job pretty good so far to prevent Linsanity from reviving. With a biased coach who is playing the invisible hand behind the scene, he just got to continue to marginalize JLin. BS came to realize that he could not possibly contain Lin by simply marginalize Lin. Today we finally hear the news that Lin is on D.N.P list. BS decided to completely shut Lin down by imprisoning him on the bench for the entire Game vs Spurs. Oh, we’ve got third snake in J Clarkson, who starts after Bryant was out of the rest of the season. This, in fact, was just a desperate move by BS. There is no doubt that Lin is the best PG Lakers have this season. Any basketball savvy or seasoned fan can easily point that out. This ridiculous act of coaching a professional basketball team deserves a remarkable place in the sports history of shame.
BS, just like JLin’s former coach Mcfail, is going to insist what he has been doing and told to do. With 40+ game passed, it already proved that what he has done was mainly aiming to tank and making sure that Bryant get his historical records. The fun part is there is a few byproducts to this. Historical season start losing streak, a broken right shoulder rotation cuff with Bryant.
Failure to launch? As it seemed that way on the surface for this year for Lakers. However, some of us Lin fans woke up pretty early when season just began, now more media and fans are waking up and begin to understand and question why BS led Lakers became a joke this season. In fact, BS had such a plan in mind before the season began. And it’s been successful except that he could not make JLin look much worse than he might hope so. To reach the goals that BS was assigned to work towards, now he is got one done for Bryant. Now what? What else is he going to do to “help” Lakers the season? Tanking? Yes, so, the priorities go like this: 1. Keep Linsanity from happening so Lin cannot shine when Bryant is out. 2. Never practice defense so Lakers stays like charmin tissue. 3. Make some player not named JLin to run the show. 4. Start bench players instead of those who should start (with one exception, his favorites). These serve two primary purposes: Lin could not be the face of the franchise and ensure Lakers keep high percentage of losing. So expect BS picks the second or third ball-hogger and ready to take the ball away from Lin.
We may ask why Lakers chose a coach in BS, especially in Cleveland he created this historical terrible tragedy of 26 game losing streak? First of all, the Lakers went through a dismal season in 2013-2014, has been completely reduced to rebuild. A lottery team faces an uncertain future. Rockets selected McHale as the Lakers chose Scott. They have one thing in common, yes, that is obedient. In Lotto team periods, management tend to find some junior, easy to control coach, so they can “guide” the team to play the way they hope. Mcfail fully implemented “Moneyball” in Morey’s theory, he was a good puppet. BS is another example for following FO’s assignment and a puppet of Bryant, well, a perfect tank commander.
In order to save the Lakers in a critical situation, the Lakers management had to take decisive action. In fact, this season, the management is taking two moves, the first step, Bryant surpasses Jordan. So, Bryant gets his and returns the favor to grant such an honor to the Lakers. The second step is to force Bryant retire. Yes, you’re not reading it wrong, in fact, they may wish Bryant an early retirement. Third, keep the draft pick.
Speaking of market value, until that day finally comes, Bryant’s retirement, Lakers FO couldn’t afford to lose all the benefit the Bryant bought to Lakers, so between Lin, an unproven player(in their eyes) VS. Bryant, they chose Bryant and JLin was relegated to the bench under a biased coach in BS. Lin’s minutes shrinks as season went on. 30, 25, 20, 16, and now on 01/23/15, hits a new low, a big fat zero minute!
Nevertheless, Lakers management also got what they deserved, cancelled national TV broad cast schedule. Losing fan base, enraged Lin fans around the world that’s for sure. They had to take such deep dive with their fading star. That is the price you have pay when a franchise is hijacked by a NBA star and hired inept coach in BS who has no shame.
It’s no doubt that stats(professional point of view) and salary(business point of view) both point out that JLin should be put on the spot to run the team but Lakers FO, coach BS, (and the NBA Empire?) can care less. Perhaps they do not want to admit the fact that they are wrong about JLin and they wish JLin could be just like a nightmare or bad dream and it should just go away. At the beginning, the records was their friend when the sample size was small. When the records abandoned them, they relied on they eye test, rumor of Lin’s fabricated shortcoming, and pre-perception to feed off their prides. Unfortunately, it shows that they are not as open minded as other professional sports communities or entertainment businesses. They probably forgot about why blacks were forbidden and treated unfairly to play professional sports in the US. Pathetically, it shows how much they are intimidated by an Asian American kid and in denial for the fact he can play basketball better than many NBA players.
Perhaps, JLin’s basketball career will be a reoccurring cycle like that. Never ending proving his worth of staying in NBA.