Despite season-long criticism from much of the media and fans, recent reports have indicated the Lakers are starting to lean towards retaining head coach Byron Scott.
Even in the wake of those reports, Scott's level of confidence in his job security was still surprising at his season-ending exit interview with media on Friday, given the fact he has coached the two worst Lakers teams of all time in his two seasons at the helm. Still, Scott told reporters that he "absolutely" expected to return as head coach next season.
While Scott allowed that he had been given no assurances about his job security, he also thinks the criticism of the job he's done has been overblown and questioned the intelligence of those who disagreed with how he's handled the roster.
"[My critics], they're not in here every day, they don't see what we're doing in practice, they don't see how we're preparing these guys. They have no clue. So all they're doing is voicing their opinion," said Scott. "I'm going to be honest with you, I'm much smarter than all of them when it comes to basketball."
Most of that criticism centered around Scott's public criticism of his young players, including D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, something he did not apologize for.
"I think our guys responded on a number of occasions to me calling them out and putting that type of pressure on them," Scott continued. "I didn't only do it with [the media], I did it to their face at practice. When they heard you ask them a question about it wasn't something that they hadn't heard."
Aside from his tactical deficiencies as a coach, quotes like these lay bare the real issue most observers have with Scott: his total lack of accountability.
Your team lost? Don't worry, it's your player's fault! Fans or analysts disagree with your approach? They must not be as smart as you!
Was Scott put into a situation totally conducive to positive results the last two years? No. He was given an undermanned roster that was ravaged by injuries in his first year, and had to deal with the demands of the Kobe Bryant retirement tour and the team's youth movement in his second. It would be hard for even a great head coach to deal with those two issues.
But Byron Scott is not a great head coach. He's not a good one, or really even a competent one. He is an allegedly defensive-minded head coach who has not only coached two of the three worst defenses in Lakers history, per Basketball-Reference, but also had his team ranked in the bottom-five in defensive efficiency in his last five years as a head coach (according to NBA.com).
To be fair, Scott wasn't given the most talented rosters to work with in any of those situations, but Scott's resume doesn't really look any better over a larger sampling. Of the 28 NBA head coaches to coach more than 1,000 games, Scott's .412 winning percentage is the lowest.
That seems like a large enough sample size to establish that Scott is not making his teams better. Instead, he blames his players for not being ready to play when things go wrong.
At some point in the next couple of weeks, the Lakers are going to have to decide if they think Scott is ready to coach next year. If the answer is yes, then fans will be left to worry if Scott's self-described "dream job" has become their nightmare.