Now that Kobe Bryant has retired, the Los Angeles Lakers have transitioned into focusing fully on developing their young players and attracting free agents. In order to focus both of those aims, they had to rid themselves of head coach Byron Scott, whose regressive and outdated attitude about nearly everything regarding the game of basketball had proven confusing to Lakers youngsters and promised to be less than attractive to free agents.
In an exit interview with the LA Daily News, Byron expressed surprise and disappointment for his termination, but in doing so proved exactly why he had to go. Listen to this:
“If I knew this was coming, I would have played Lou [Williams], Brandon [Bass] and guys like that a whole lot more,” Scott said, referring to his veterans in an interview with this newspaper. “They gave me the best chance to win.”
This is maddening. If Scott thinks his win-loss record was the justification for his firing, he was even more deluded than we thought. What’s more, in the same article Scott said he knew his dual directives for this season were player development and keeping Kobe healthy, and he still dropped the above nugget. Baffling, just like his language: “They gave me the best chance to win.”
The NBA has evolved at a rapid pace in the past few years, but Scott was behind the times even before then. More than that, he embodies every cliché of the myopic coach who fails to grasp the big picture. He regrets not making even more cynical moves to assert his own importance and keep his job, and in expressing those regrets succinctly made the argument for why he should never be a NBA head coach again unless or until he completely changes his philosophy.
(Via LA Daily News)