Head coach Byron Scott said he was lost for words when speaking with his team after.
“I didn’t say anything,” Scott said, per Joey Ramirez of the team’s website. “I’d hope they would do a little soul-searching and just think about what happened tonight and think about how we just didn’t come to play and how we didn’t compete. Sometimes it just comes down to having some pride.”
Throughout the game, the Lakers showed no discipline on defense and seemingly played with a lack of effort, via the Jazz:
The Lakers are 15-59 and have firmly been in the Western Conference cellar for most of all season, currently sitting in last place by five games.
Scott, a 15-year head coach who's in his second season in L.A., also took an individual hit in the loss, per ESPN Stats & Info:
The disappointing theme of this season has been trying to feel out the young talent as Kobe Bryant marches on his farewell tour. But with just eight games remaining, Scott is concerned no one among his current contingent will be able to take Bryant’s mantle, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
You have to show this organization that you deserve to be here and you understand what wearing that purple and gold is all about. I don’t think a lot of guys in that locker room understand that right now.
I don’t look at any of those guys as being our next Kobe. They can be a piece of it or part of it. But not to get to that level that he has gotten to.
The Lakers have a talented young core in 23-year-old Jordan Clarkson, 21-year-old Julius Randle and 20-year-old D’Angelo Russell, but all three have been benched at points throughout the season.
“It’s a damn shame our oldest player has to take the challenge,” Scott said, per Medina. “It says a lot about him obviously and what he’s done all his life. But nobody else wanted to step up and take that challenge.”
If no one on the current roster is ready to answer the call, then who will?
The Lakers could find that piece with their third straight lottery pick in this summer’s draft. They will likely be active in free agency as well, though luring top players to buy in to the current product will be an ambitious sell.