Each week, ESPN.com Lakers beat writer Baxter Holmes, along with ESPN.com NBA writers Ramona Shelburne and Arash Markazi, will weigh in on three questions that are on the minds of Los Angeles Lakers followers.
1. Are Kobe Bryant and Byron Scott right to criticize the Lakers' postgame celebration against the Celtics?
Holmes: Absolutely. Even though the Lakers haven't had much to celebrate this season, some of them acted like clowns after that game, hence all the reaction once footage of said reaction went viral. I know times are tough and it was a hard-fought overtime win against their biggest rival, but they're still professionals. Act like you've been there.
Shelburne: Yes. Everyone gets that it has been a tough season and they were excited about getting a win. But it's just not a good look for guys on a team this bad to be celebrating as if they won something meaningful. This isn't some young team like the 76ers. This is a team with veteran players who have been around in the NBA and should know better.
Markazi: Yes. I didn't see any problem with it, but Kobe and Byron have won multiple championships with the Lakers, and if they thought it was embarrassing, then they have every right to say so. I see where they are coming from. You've lost seven straight and 16 of 17 -- don't act as if you've won a championship after beating a below-.500 team at home in overtime.
2. Kobe told Bill Simmons he's not planning to retire after next season. If that happens, do you think he'll remain with the Lakers?
Holmes: I can't imagine Kobe playing anywhere else. I think he'll be a Laker for life. The more interesting question to me is what happens if Kobe decides he wants to play beyond next season. Would the Lakers ever tell him no thanks or ask him to take less money? It'll be interesting, no doubt.
Shelburne: Yes. And I don't think that's exactly what he told Bill Simmons. He just refuted that he'd made a decision about retiring next year, as was being erroneously interpreted by some people. He could still retire after next season, he just hasn't decided yet.
Markazi: Yes. I think he retires with the Lakers. I think Kobe will eventually decide to retire after next season, but he's not ready to make that decision yet and isn't looking for a Derek Jeter-like farewell tour.
3. Which Laker are you most excited to see develop the rest of the season?
Holmes: Jordan Clarkson is the only one who really comes to mind. With Ronnie Price out for the season following elbow surgery, the Lakers' point guard depth is slimmed even further, so it comes down to Clarkson and Jeremy Lin to fill that role. Clarkson has looked more and more comfortable with time, and he should get plenty of it down the stretch.
Shelburne: It's a toss-up between Clarkson and Tarik Black. I don't know how good either player is yet. Are they future starters in the NBA or future bench players? Could they be even better than that? I also want to see how Ryan Kelly develops. He has a chance to be a good stretch-4 in this league, but I think we've concluded he can't really be effective as a small forward.
Markazi: Clarkson. He might not be the long-term solution at point guard, but he has shown he can be a solid role player and reserve on a contending team.