The Los Angeles Lakers experienced significant losses this NBA season. First, they lost Kobe Bryant to retirement. Ending his career in the NBA, the Black Mamba was showcased in a farewell tour that had the likes of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade paying tribute to his greatness. Another loss for the Los Angeles Lakers is the entire season altogether. Finishing off dead last in the Western Conference led by the Golden State Warriors, the Kobe Bryant squad held a record of 17-65 this NBA season. With the abysmal record, the first one to get the axe is Bryon Scott.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been widely criticized for the coaching style of Scott. Throughout the NBA season, fans have questioned the former head coach's move to keep playing Bryant as a starter as opposed to bringing in D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson into the fray. The criticisms intensified when the Los Angeles Lakers lost almost every game in the season. Despite the issues, Scott stood by his strategies and continued to bench the young stars. Needless to say, his decisions cost him his job.
"We would like to thank Byron for his hard work, dedication and loyalty over the last two years but have decided it is in the best interest of the organization to make a change at this time," said Mitch Kupchak of the decision to fire Scott.
For Scott, the exit from the Los Angeles Lakers was tantamount to losing his dream. While he lamented the fact that he failed to improve the team during his tenure, the former head coach admitted he understood the decision. Scott also shared his frustrations on the way the Los Angeles Lakers played during the NBA season.
He shared, "This is my dream job, and obviously, you want the opportunity to turn it all around. But I understand the business of basketball, and it's all about wins and losses." Scott further stated, "Guys that know me know I'm not happy with the way we played as a basketball team. I think we could have been a lot better if we had really honed in on some of the things we needed to hone in on early. But that's kind of the price you've got to pay with young guys too. It takes some young guys a bit longer to develop, but the bottom line is the record, and that's what you judge guys by."
With Scott gone, fans are wondering whether the next season would see more of Russell and Clarkson on the hardwood court. Unlike his other rookie friends like Kristaps Porzingis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor, Russell had very limited time in the games. Will this change with a new head coach? Nothing is certain for now.
While news of Scott's departure from the Los Angeles Lakers was dealt with by fans of the team, the front office is now busy looking for his replacement. Rumors have it that the Black Mamba squad will not take a long time to sign a new head coach. According to Kupchak, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking into finalizing the deal before the NBA draft.
"I think it's unlikely there will be anything done in the next week or two," said Kupchak of the hunt for a new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. He added, "But certainly I don't anticipate this dragging into the summer. We'd like to get it done. We're looking to have a big offseason. It would be nice to have our staff in place during the draft and certainly when July 1 rolls around."