Lakers' 101-94 Loss to New York Knicks Offers Case Studies in Rebuilding

By Medina, Mark | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), March 12, 2015 | Go to article overview

Lakers' 101-94 Loss to New York Knicks Offers Case Studies in Rebuilding


Medina, Mark, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


The two men once became accustomed to hoisting up NBA trophies with their hands and flashing championship rings on their fingers. But there Lakers coach Byron Scott and New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher stood on the same sideline two months ago, sharing another thing in common that hardly makes either proud.

Both of their respective teams rank among the worst in the NBA. So after holding Fisher in high esteem since mentoring him during Fisher's rookie season with the Lakers 19 years ago, Scott offered him some support.

" 'Hang in there,' " Scott recalled saying. " 'I know exactly what you're going through and it's going to get better.' "

Fisher could say the same thing to Scott. The Lakers lost to the New York Knicks, 101-94, on Thursday at Staples Center, marking their sixth defeat in the past seven games. Yet the Lakers (17-47) own the NBA's fourth-worst record, giving them an 82.8 percent chance of retaining their top-five protected pick, which is otherwise owed to Philadelphia as part of the Steve Nash deal with Phoenix.

The Knicks (13-51) have better odds at ending with a higher pick.

That does not match what Phil Jackson envisioned when he became the Knicks president last season after winning five of his 11 NBA championships coaching the Lakers in two separate stints (1999- 2004, 2005-2011).

"It's not something I wanted to do," Jackson said before referring to the advice of longtime companion and Lakers president Jeanie Buss. "It's something my partner said, 'You're sitting on all this information. Come on out and destroy a basketball team that you love.' So that's what I've done."

Jackson was joking, of course. But he described his stint with the Knicks as a "project gone awry."

This season, the Knicks lost a franchise-record 16 consecutive games. Carmelo Anthony became limited this season on an injured left knee before shutting down after the NBA All-Star break. …

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