Rounding Up the Reasons Los Angeles Lakers Should Fire Byron Scott

Byron Scott’s second season as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers was even worse than the first, when they set a franchise record with 61 losses. Heading into their Friday night contest against the New Orleans Pelicans, they're at 62 losses with four games left in the year. 

From Halloween to April Fools’ Day, each day seemingly delivered a new controversy: Scott’s off-putting obsession with machismo, D’Angelo Russell’s infantile performance art, Julius Randle’s broken jump shot, Kobe Bryant’s distracting melodrama—the list goes on. This entire year has been a steady avalanche of interference.

All the team’s problems do not lead back to Scott. He didn’t build the roster or know on opening night that Kobe would railroad the organization’s short-term objective—meaning their clear, albeit shortsighted intention to win basketball games—by announcing his retirement.

But Scott’s inability to handle what he should be able to—nightly effort, execution, scheme, player development, minute distributions, etc.—was, and continues to be, a big part of the problem.

Of course, Scott’s job is to play the cards he’s dealt, and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has dealt him a losing hand. Instead of experimenting with NBA Developmental League call-ups or making any move at the trade deadline to open up a roster spot, there was silence. 

But the best coaches extract juice from the driest fruit. Scott didn't.


Squandered Player Development

As a rebuilding organization, the Lakers’ No. 1 priority should be developing Russell, Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Tarik Black and Anthony Brown. That’s it. To Scott’s credit, Clarkson, Randle and Russell will finish first, second and third in total minutes played. Nance will fi...

About the Author