Two weeks ago, a report emerged the Lakers viewed the rest of the season as a tryout for Byron Scott.
Has he flunked it yet?
The franchise seems torn on whether he’ll return for the third and last guaranteed year on his contract.
He is expected to coach the rest of this season, and some within the organization wonder what Scott might do with a better roster. The one he has now has produced an 11-44 record, second-worst in the NBA.
Others, however, wonder about the effectiveness of the tough love he administers to the team’s many young players.
Like the tryout report, this strikes me as spin designed to benefit Scott – who played for the Showtime Lakers in the 80s – on the way out.
Scott has just been so awful, overseeing the NBA’s worst defense and second-worst offense. This roster is bad, but it’s not that bad.
And that’s just Scott’s ability to help a team win right now.
His handling of young players like D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle has been destructive. Those two likely return next season, and they’ll still be young. So will the Lakers’ first-round pick if they keep the top-three-protected selection.
It’s one thing to keep Scott when the Lakers have huge incentive to lose and improve their lottery standing. But with Kobe Bryant retiring and the Lakers ready to move on, Scott has to go.
Deep down, I think they know that. Feigning courtesy could just be a temporary tactic.
If this is anything else, the Lakers are in bigger trouble than we thought. It’s not just keeping Scott, the worst coach in the league. It’s the thought process that leads to that conclusion and how many other mistakes it will create.