The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to get rid of coach Byron Scott this summer. But they have until June 1 to notify the former Showtime Laker whether he’ll be retained, as per terms of his contract, according to several reports.
In July 2014, Scott joined L.A. on a four-year, $17 million contract. Since taking over the job, Scott has presided over the two worst seasons in franchise history (21-61 in 2014-15 and 16-62 in 2015-16), with a win/loss record of 37-123. With four games left in the season, Lakers are set to finish with the lowest winning percentage in their 68-year history.
Who is to blame?
Scott has had his share of sympathizers. Some reckon that the veteran coach wasn’t meant to lead a team packed with youngsters and an aging Kobe Bryant. Others reckon that the front office, led by general manager Mitch Kupchak, didn’t put together a roster capable of reaching the postseason.
Regardless, Scott will become the third consecutive Laker coach to be terminated before completing the terms of a contract. While Mike Brown was fired just 5 games into his tenure, Mike D’Antoni resigned from the position after two seasons at the helm.
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On Wednesday, Scott was asked to analyze his performance as coach. “Probably like our players — up and down. I’m very critical of myself. I think I could have done better. I still think I can do better. The thing I look at is I’ve got a bunch of young guys that I also have to sometimes treat with kid gloves as well. That’s the new me. That’s not the old me,” he was quoted as saying by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
Development of Lakers young core…
Prior to the all-star break, Scott coped criticism for benching D’Angelo Russell when the primary objective of the season was to develop the young core.
According to Scott, he had a valid reason for his decision-making, but acknowledged that he could have handled things differently. “With our young guys, could I have probably done a better job? Probably so. And I’ve got to look at that this summer. I’ve also got to look at how can I help them next year to get even better.”
Scott admitted that his communication skills had improved with the young Lakers core that includes Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr.
“You have to get used to it. I don’t think you have to give up who you are … but you do have to adapt and understand that now the communication level has to be much better.
“With these young guys, I’ve definitely done a better job of understanding that this is a different generation and that you have to communicate a lot differently instead of just, ‘I want you to run down the court, set a screen and come off a pick.’ When you hear the question ‘Why?’ you have to be able to explain that.”
Who should the Lakers hire as the next head coach? Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks and Mark Jackson are some of the accomplished free agent coaches. The other option is to pry Luke Walton, assistant coach of the Warriors, away from Oakland.