It has been just over a week since the Los Angeles Lakers decided to move on from Byron Scott by not picking up the third-year option on his contract for next season.
The decision was one that Scott was a “little blindsided” by given that he thought there was a mutual understanding with general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss that it would take a few years to turn things around.
“That’s what I expected. When I took the job, when we sat down, Mitch [Kupchak] and I and Jim [Buss], that was the whole premise of the conversation,” Scott said. “These next two or three years are going to be pretty tough. Can I handle the situation. I said, I can handle it. I’ll get the team to come to work every single day with a smile on my face and be very positive. It’s my nature to keep working. That’s what I continued to do.”
The Lakers struggled under Scott in his two seasons as the head coach notching just 38 wins over that span in what were the worst campaigns in team history. Los Angeles is also coming off a season where they finished with the second-worst record in the league at 17-65, which also set a new franchise-worst mark for most losses in a single season.
Scott also described his two seasons with the Lakers as “very tough” and were only made more difficult this past season with the balancing act of Kobe Bryant‘s retirement tour and focusing on developing the young core of the team.
“You have a bunch of young guys you’re trying to develop and get them to understand how to play the right way,” Scott said. “Then you have Kobe, who is basically on a tour playing his final season. As I’ve said from day one, my main objective was to make sure KB finished his season as healthy as possible so he could play in that last game and perform at a high level.”
It was a job that Scott walked into where the team was expected to struggle. In truth, there wasn’t much of a chance that he was going to succeed given the parameters of the situation. Luke Walton will now have the task of turning around the franchise from the worst three-year stretch in franchise history.
Watch the full interview below:
Bob Garcia IV
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