Lakers fans were demanding it. Logic dictated it — even the questionable talent did not fully explain why Byron Scott could not get the Lakers to defend, they had one of the two worst defenses in the NBA each of his two seasons as coach.
Still, Byron Scott said he was blindsided by his firing by the Los Angeles Lakers, something he said on the Dan Patrick Show this morning (video above).
Scott makes a couple of valid points. First, the Lakers did take their time after the season (letting good coaches get snapped up elsewhere) while making this call, giving the impression Scott might be safe.
Second, the Lakers did not give Scott much talent to work with. I don’t care if you resurrected Red Auerbach and John Wooden and had them tag team as the coach, these Lakers were not making the playoffs. Scott was brought in to both shepherd the Kobe farewell years — he did that exactly as management wanted — and start to develop the young talent on the team, building a foundation for the future. That is where he fell short, both in terms of building a defensive foundation or forming a strong relationship with the young Lakers, most notably D'Angelo Russell.
Scott discussed his relationship with Russell, too.
It’s far too early to say how good a coach Luke Walton will be for the Lakers, but it’s safe to say he’s an upgrade over Scott. In that way, the Lakers made the right move.