Like Doc Rivers, Byron Scott Says DeAndre Jordan Is Defensive Player Of The Year

Byron Scott has made a lot of silly — if not, downright ridiculous — claims this season.

He said he doesn’t think three-pointers lead to championships, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. He thinks Kobe Bryant should be in the conversation for MVP, even though Kobe’s been sidelined for most of the year. He’s thrown his own players under the bus and claimed that visiting players have told him they want to play for the Lakers (it’s unclear whether those players would want to play for the Lakers with Scott as coach). Thanks to Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles, we now have another Scott quote for the scrapbooks.

Doc Rivers‘ endless campaign for Jordan to win Defensive Player of the Year is understandable: he probably believes Jordan is worthy of the award. But the campaign also likely stems from the time-honored tradition of a coach caping for his player beyond what’s reasonable. ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh broke down why Jordan isn’t a good choice for the award, with his argument basically boiling down to these facts: Jordan’s an average rim protector, his rebounding prowess has the biggest impact on offense, and the Clippers’ defense is better overall when Jordan is on the bench. As if Haberstroh’s numbers weren’t enough – they apparently weren’t enough for Rivers, who didn’t even read the thing – here’s another figure for Rivers and now Scott, apparently, to chew on: Jordan is 17th among centers in defensive real plus-minus. SEVENTEENTH.

Again, though, it still makes sense for Rivers to proclaim Jordan’s worth to the ends of the Earth. What doesn’t make sense is Scott joining the party. Is he trying to recruit Jordan? Why would be recruit after claiming so many players are already excited to join the team? Does he actually think Jordan deserves the award, even though other players – many of whom reside in the Western Conference – are clearly better candidates (with Scott, it’s not as if this is out of the question)?

With the Lakers’ pitiful season winding down to its much-needed end, one might think that Scott would dial back on these sorts of remarks. But no, this is Byron Scott, and he will not go gentle into the good night.

(Arash Markazi)