Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott made the rounds on ESPN on Wednesday, appearances that were notable for his comments on the team's locker room environment following D'Angelo Russell's video of Nick Young admitting of infidelity becoming public.
One day after Metta World Peace said the situation wasn't as bad as it was initially reported, Scott said on SportsNation that the leaked video "put a stranglehold on the team" and that "90 percent" of the locker room sided with Young. During his appearance on "the Jump," Scott told host Rachel Nichols of ESPN it wasn't an easy situation for a head coach.
"It was tough, because I have a lot of love for Nick Young, and I felt bad for him going through that situation with him and his girlfriend Iggy, and coming to work every day you could just see he was deflated," Scott said. "And then you've got a 19-year old kid that really just didn't understand what was the big problem at the time."
Scott sounded unsure if the problem could solely be chalked up to Russell's age, however.
"Again, we're going back to old school, where you just don't do things like this in the locker room, because it does divide and split the locker room," Scott said, before agreeing with Nichols when she interjected saying Russell should have known better. "It's not old school, new school, it's just period. You just know that is a rule in that locker room, it's just like the old saying when you go to [Las] Vegas, 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.' It's the same in a basketball locker room."
Scott made it clear he thought it was wrong for Young to cheat on his fiancee, saying that "there wasn't anybody that was clean when this situation came out." He also said it was a situation a head coach is mostly powerless in.
"From a coaching standpoint, you almost just sit back and let this thing hopefully heal itself, and you just hope time will allow that to happen," said Scott. "At the beginning, obviously it's going to be a strenuous situation because you have this one guy over here and everybody in that locker room looking at him like 'you did everybody wrong.' So it's going to take time to heal that."
"The one thing I couldn't do is try to make sure I brought those guys together," continued Scott. "Because if they don't want to come together they're not coming together, no matter what you do as a coach, so time just has to heal it. I think a lot of our guys on that team after a month or so they realized 'the guy is 19-years old,' or 20-years old at that particular time, and there's not one guy in that locker room that hasn't made a mistake when he's 20-years old."
Those issues won't be Scott's problem anymore next season. Any further Lakers locker room problems will be dealt with by his replacement, Luke Walton, and Scott thinks his former player is up to the task.
"I think he has the type of mind to be a very good basketball coach in this league," Scott said on SportsNation. "I think he has a self-confidence about himself where he knows he can get the job done, and I think he's going to do extremely well."
All quotes transcribed via SportsNation and the Jump. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.