The Los Angeles Lakers may have hit a new season low with their loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, but they don't plan on making a head coaching change time any time soon, reports Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports. Scott is viewed as an "innocent bystander" as Kobe Bryant struggles through his final season and it's "extremely unlikely" the Lakers make a head coaching switch midseason, according to an anonymous source that spoke with Amick.
The Lakers sit at 2-15 on the season and are currently on a seven-game losing streak, hitting a new low as they opened an eight-game road trip. Amick points to there still being a chance the Lakers soften their stance on sticking with Scott should the losing streak get out of hand, but it appears the front office is essentially handing Scott a pardon for any results during a season that is very important to the start of their rebuilding process.
These paragraphs from Amick are the most telling in his report on the front office's view of Scott, who "wont be held responsible" for the horrendous season transpiring for the Lakers:
While there's a never-say-never qualifier to the notion that coach Byron Scott could be replaced midseason, it appears for now that he won't be held responsible for either the dreadful record or the fruitless way in which Bryant continues to play. The coaching component, it should be noted, could always change if this losing streak (currently seven games) grew too big to bear.
The strong sense, however, is that Scott is seen largely as an innocent bystander in Bryant's bon voyage campaign. Scott signed a four-year, $17 million deal in July 2014 to reunite with his former teammate, but the contract is only guaranteed through next season.
It's alarming if Scott really has a blank check when it comes to this season, as the Lakers are in the beginning stages of a rebuilding phase centered around No. 2 pick D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. Scott has enabled Kobe Bryant the entire way, saying he has earned the "privilege" to take shots at will. Following a night Kobe went 7-of-26 from the filed while hoisting 17 three-pointers, Byron acknowledged the team will "live and die" with his shooting.
Even though Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak recently admitted he expected a better start from the team he helped construct, it seems likely Byron Scott will finish out a season that has the Lakers on course for a franchise-worst record for the third straight season.
Be sure to read Amick's full article on USA TODAY, which delves into more details on Kobe Bryant's role in the Lakers current situation, and more perspective on the state of the Lakers.