Suffering from exhaustion, investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher passed out on his bed and dreamed of playing basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers – 6′ 5″ – but 6′ 9″ with the fro. He dreamed of being the MVP . . . and of winning championships for the Lakers. . .
Fletcher was drafted with the 27th pick in the first round by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2015. His career began with a decided role coming off the bench. However, his early performances demonstrated that he deserved starter minutes despite his late round draft pick. Virtual Bryon Scott wouldn’t give him the minutes despite his performances.
[Below – Fletcher goes for 47 against the Thunder, then promptly sees his minutes reduced, beginning an early season feud with virtual Byron Scott.]
Finally, management gave the word that Fletcher should get starter minutes. Virtual Scott ignored them and those starter minutes never came – the feud continuing even into the playoffs, Scott simply refusing to provide Fletcher with his minutes.
Fletcher saw his rookie season ending, knowing for certain that he would fail in his bid to be Rookie of the Year – all because Scott hadn’t given him the minutes. Still, he managed to average 20.9 points a game on 55% from the field and 40% from three. With reduced minutes, however, his other stats suffered – rebounds (0.29), assists (1.23), steals (0.88) and blocks (0.15). He was named to the All-Rookie team, but as he expected he lost out for Rookie of the Year – fueling his fire to force Scott to give him his minutes.
Still, even with reduced minutes, Fletcher had a big enough impact on the Lakers, playing alongside Kobe Bryant, Roy Hibbert and the rest of the crew. The Lakers compiled a 48-34 in Fletcher’s rookie campaign but saw a tough road ahead of them in the playoffs, beginning with a match up against the Los Angeles Clippers.
And with the feud still brewing into the playoffs, Fletcher had to cool his temper. In an opening round Game 4 against the Clippers, Fletcher excelled – going for 30 points and adding 3 steals, 2 assists and a rebound as the Lakers took a commanding 3-1 lead. But of course, that meant Scott would still not give Fletcher more minutes.
So Fletcher saved his best for the deciding Game 6 win, going for 34 points, 62% from the field, and 8-12 3 point shooting. He also added a rebound, steal and a block. There is really no other way to put it, but that he entered #BeastMode to try to get Scott to listen. The Lakers had to win the NBA Championship — that was, after all Fletcher’s dream. And he was going to have to be the NBA Final MVP.
[Below: Game 6 between the Clippers and the Lakers.]
Would Scott cost them the NBA title? Could Fletcher be the NBA Finals MVP?
To be continued . . . .