Byron Scott Rumors
The news struck Byron Scott in multiple ways. The Lakers’ coach sounded incredulous over the Knicks firing Derek Fisher as head coach, both out of respect for the coaching field and because they played one season together nearly 20 years ago with the Lakers. “I just shook my head,” Scott said. “I’ve been in this business a long time. Nothing really surprises me. But was I a little surprised by that? Yeah.”
“Every situation is different,” Scott said on coaching firings. “It really depends on what the GM and owners want. Some are unrealistic in some instances. I have no clue, to be honest with you about what most teams want. Fisher is a prime example. This business is very, very hard to deal with a times. But you have to deal with it. This is the chosen profession for us. You’re going to deal with sometimes getting fired unexpected and sometimes it’s warranted. You just have to deal with it.”
Stephen A. Smith on ESPN LA on Scott: I’m hearing he’s gone if Luke Walton wants to come in and take the job next season, that if he wants to do that, that obviously they would move beyond the Byron Scott era and bring in Luke Walton, that Luke Walton, however, as much as he loves the Lakers and California, may not find that to be an attractive job unless they position themselves to acquire somebody like a Ben Simmons. That is what I have heard.
Scott’s thoughts? Russell needs to run the offense better. “[He’s] just kind of figuring that out. I still see him progressing but I was hoping that he’d just be a tad further along,” Scott said. “Defensively, I was hoping he’d be a tad further along on the ball as well as off the ball. But those are things I look back from training camp until now — he’s gotten so much better in a lot of those areas. He knows and I know he still has a long way to go in those areas as well.”
Scott plans to start Russell after NBA All-Star weekend (Feb. 12-14). But Scott said the two have not talked about that issue. “He’s not old enough for me to have a meeting and discuss, ‘What do you think?’” Scott said.
A meeting only took place last week, when Scott was pleasantly surprised that Russell argued he does not deserve a starting spot amid his recent struggles. “I asked him, Why would you say that?’” Scott said. “He said, ‘I don’t with the way I’ve been playing lately.’ That’s self-policing. I thought it was good he felt that way. He knows he has to continue to work and get better. When he gets that opportunity to start again, hopefully he takes full advantage of it.”