Byron Scott felt 'betrayed, lied to, and deceived' by former Lakers execs
Former NBA head coach Byron Scott still hasn't forgiven the Los Angeles Lakers for firing him at the end of last season.
The 56-year-old says he "felt betrayed, lied to, and deceived" by former Lakers executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss, according to Mark Medina of the Orange County Register. Scott says they reneged on a promise to pick up Scott's team option for the 2016-17 campaign, and suggests they only kept him on to manage Kobe Bryant's personality as the star's career wound down.
"If I asked him to do certain things, Kobe would do it because of his respect for me," Scott told Mark Medina of the Orange County Register. "Basically, you just wanted me there to help you guys get through the next two years, so Kobe doesn't go crazy on you guys. I would be the one that can handle it. They know me. I'm not going to back down. I'm not going to be intimidated by anybody."
"There's not a player in this league I had that I can't communicate with or had some good relationships with," Scott said. "Are there players that played for me that can't stand me and vice versa? Yeah. I'm sure there are. But most of the players that I coached, when I come into contact with them, it's nothing but mutual respect."
Scott was heavily criticized for refusing to start youngsters Julius Randle and Russell for much of last season, but has zero regrets about the way he handled the Lakers' rotation.
"I would do the same thing. I still felt like the job was given to them," he said. "I don't have a problem with young guys growing, understanding, and developing in that (starting) role, but I do have a problem when they don't cherish it, when they don't hold it to a higher standard, when they don't come ready to work."
Los Angeles went just 38-126 in its two seasons under Scott, finishing near the bottom of the standings in both years.