The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly do not plan to fire head coach Byron Scott in the middle of the season, but that does not mean that Scott's days in Los Angeles aren't numbered. After reporting last night that the Lakers have not wavered since a December report that they would not part ways with Scott during the 2015-16 campaign, Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News went on NBA TV to discuss the state of the Lakers, and things look less than sunny in Los Angeles.
During the appearance, Medina reiterated that while the Lakers plans to reevaluate Scott after the season have not changed, the rest of the league can see the writing on the wall and expects that the coach is not much longer for the Lakers head job.
"When I talk with a lot of people around the league the expectation is Byron Scott will not be the coach next season," Medina told NBA TV host Jared Greenberg. "But when you talk to the Lakers, they're saying he's definitely going to be here this season, and they are going to evaluate him this off-season," with Medina reporting that the team sees Scott as having a "no-win situation" to an extent due to the difficulties of simultaneously trying to manage Kobe Bryant's farewell tour while also developing the Lakers' youth.
Speaking of that youth, Medina additionally reported that "the coaching staff has also been frustrated at times with [D'Angelo Russell's] sense of entitlement, so as much as it makes sense to play him out on the floor from an X's and O's standpoint, I think Byron is also trying to humble their rookie point guard," which helps explain why Scott seems to call Russell out through the media with greater frequency than his teammates.
The Lakers have 32 games left in their season, including a Tuesday night match-up with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and it's hard to find arguments for Scott to continue to coach the team when they conclude their third straight lottery-bound campaign. Scott (.417) is currently tied for the worst winning percentage among NBA head coaches to have coached 1,000 games or more, per Basketball Reference.
Additionally, while the Lakers have lacked talent during his time at the helm, barring an act of God the allegedly defensive minded Scott will also have coached two of the worst four defensive teams in franchise history after this season, again according to Basketball Reference. It will also mark Scott's fifth straight year of coaching one of the five least efficient defenses in the league, per NBA.com
When you combine all of this with his consistent criticism of the Lakers' young players through the media while seemingly having issues communicating with that same group, it's probably past time for both sides to move on.
Hat-Tip to Donald Green of Lakers Outsiders for capturing Medina's full comments, which you can watch here:
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