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Byron Scott unlikely to be fired during season, according to report

The latest on Byron Scott's job security.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As has been noted by nearly everyone to watch them play for even a second during the 2015-16 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are a bad basketball team. They rank next to last in both defensive efficiency (giving up 107.2 points per 100 possesions), offensive efficiency (scoring 96.5 points per 100 possessions) and net rating (teams outscore them by an average of 10.7 points per 100 possessions). The franchise with the second most NBA titles sits with a record of 3-19, their worst start in franchise history and well on pace to finish with their worst ever record for the third consecutive year.

Much of the blame for these struggles has been placed at the feet of head coach Byron Scott, who has, among other things, benched the team's last two lottery selections, said he was "fine" with Kobe Bryant shooting as much as he wants during his worst statistical season ever, and not even asked the 19-year veteran to curtail his usage for the benefit of the Lakers' young prospects. Despite all of this, Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News reported Wednesday night that Scott is not likely to be fired during the 2015-16 season:

Byron Scott still has enough support from Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss that he is expected to coach through the rest of the 2015-16 season, according to team sources familiar with the situation. With Scott signing a four-year, $17 million deal last summer, the Lakers plan to evaluate his future once the 2015-16 season ends, according to a team source .

The Lakers are not happy with the persistent losing, obviously. But Kupchak and Buss sympathize with Scott on handling what one team source called "a no-win situation."

It has actually been a "three wins in twenty-two games" situation, but that source probably meant things less literally and was referring to Scott's job of balancing the Lakers' youth movement with Bryant's retirement tour. On that front, Medina had this to report:

The Lakers have granted Scott the autonomy to coach his team without interference. But Kupchak and/or Buss will likely meet with Scott next week after the team's eight-game trip to gain a better understanding of his thought process on how he will develop the team's young players, according to a team source familiar with the situation.

This fits with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak's comments earlier this week in an interview with Mike Bresnahan of L.A. Times that this season needs to be more than a farewell tour to Bryant and that he needs "to get more answers on our players going forward on this [young] corps. I want to see them develop and not only just get through the season averaging X-number of minutes and then next year we just figure it out. We need answers this year."

Even if the front office were going to intervene in Scott's coaching, they would have little incentive to leak as much and publicly undermine a coach that is already having issues communicating with his players. The team has given Scott a vote of confidence for now, but as Lakers fans saw when Mike Brown was fired after receiving a public vote of confidence from Lakers owner and president of basketball operations Jim Buss just two days before, things can change quickly.

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