Millennials are the largest generation in the current workforce and they dominate this season’s Lakers roster. Every player on the team besides Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace is a part of Gen Y.

Why is that is significant?

Because similar to Corporate America, Millennials will determine the success or failure of your organization.

Millennials want to be coached. Byron Scott is a manager. As a Lakers fan, I loved watching Scott as a player and cheered for him as a rival coach in the NBA. But since becoming the Head Coach of the Lakers, he’s proven to be out of touch and disconnected from his players.

Golden State thrives playing “small ball,” but what most fans don’t comprehend is the Warriors organization drafted and put together a team around the system they wanted to play. It’s not enough to say “small ball” rules the NBA. For example the San Antonio Spurs run a motion offense built around the individual talent on the team. The Spurs can go small, but they can also go big with Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, David West & Boris Diaw.

The Lakers’ issue is they run a system (Princeton Offense) that doesn’t leverage the strengths of the team. Even when Phil Jackson ran the Triangle Offense he recruited players that fit his system well.

At a deeper level what is most alarming is a lack of leadership from the top. Supposedly D’Angelo Russell was chosen because he could lure a big man to L.A. That’s backwards thinking. With the #2 pick in the draft you choose the best player available period. It’s too early to judge whether Russell is the right choice, but if the only reason a player is selected is because of his potential recruiting power that’s¬†ludicrous.

Millennials want feedback, so when Coach Scott crosses his hands on the sidelines after a bad play and expects players to figure it out themselves, nothing is learned. There’s little proof age and being a “players coach” in the NBA matters. Greg Popovich, the oldest coach and Brad Stevens, the youngest coach thrive because they maximize the talent on the floor. Players want to know their role within a system. You tell them that, then their performance can be measured. Be a cheerleader. Be an encourager. Be hands-on. Millennials want to know how to get better. You have to teach and hold them accountable. Coaches aren’t paid to be player’s friends. Their job is to lead.

Scott will forever be a Lakers legend as a player, but it’s becoming clear management made the wrong choice by bringing him in as coach with a young, rebuilding roster. His former pupils, Jason Kidd and Chris Paul, were natural leaders. Kyrie Irving is a superb talent. Russell may grow into a budding superstar, but right now he needs coaching.

It’s further proof Jeanie Buss needs to hold to her word by firing brother Jim after the 2016-17 season since the Lakers will be lucky to make the playoffs, let alone contend for the title that year. Ever since Phil Jackson retired as coach after the 2011 season, Jim Buss has made ego-driven moves that have destroyed the Lakers future.

Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and possibly Russell can be centerpieces for a rebuild, but the Lakers need new leadership and a fresh start that understands how to connect with the current generation of players and build a system around the talent accordingly.

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Author, blogger, speaker & die-hard Lakers fan

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