General George S. Patton once said, "Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory."
Unfortunately, that was two years ago, and any hope that this team would be a continuing success was crushed at the hands of Denver in last year's playoffs.
I apologize to John Stockton for this next statement, but we may be witnessing the career of the greatest point guard of our generation.
But what can one man do when your organization is trying to give away players at yard-sale value?
When New Orleans was on top, Byron Scott was the toast of the town. He was hailed as the next great coach, a player's coach who could keep his players in line without imposing his will on their play.
Last season didn't go as planned.
Although Chris Paul was putting up numbers at a neck-breaking pace, his team seemed to be floundering around him. David West wasn't looking like the All-Star he was touted as the year before.
Tyson Chandler wasn't looking like the brick wall in the post that the backcourt learned to rely on, and Peja Stojakovic was starting to play as old as he looks.
It all added up to a New Orleans team that just didn't seem as scary as the year before, which in turn led to trade offers coming out of New Orleans at the sake of chemistry.
When the roster settled this year, Chandler was gone and Emeka Okafor was in. They've started 3-6, with a loss to the lowly Knicks. Quite frankly, nobody's giving this team a chance to make it into the playoffs, and for good reason; this year, the passion isn't there.
Is it Byron Scott's fault?
Let's face facts, Bryon Scott had a target on his back coming into this season.
After rumors surfaced that Scott would be leaving New Orleans to replace a retiring Phil Jackson, this organization gave up on him. He never led them to believe he was going anywhere, yet the Hornets organization seemed to think otherwise.
The roster of journeymen may be the cause of the general malaise of this organization, but it may have also been the coaching. We've seen too many of the recent Byron Scott headlines concerning lineup shakeups to discount coaching as the problem, and the answer.
Is the answer really Jeff Bower? I guess that depends on the question.
Does this add anything to the rumor mill? Will we see Byron Scott on the end of the Lakers bench?
We'll likely find out before the All-Star break, but if I were a Vegas oddsmaker, I'd say the Buss is parked right outside of Byron Scott's home.
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