Byron is still haunting the Lakers franchise, this time with his interviews and incredibly interesting takes regarding the team in general. He recently did an interview on the Dan Patrick Show where he spoke on Kobe, D’Angelo, his time as coach, and possibly coaching again:
Here some more specific quotes from @TheDonaldGeeNBA:
“At times I did. A lot of times guys come into the league they think they’re entitled. I think that’s how he felt when he joined us.”
— Donald Green. (@TheDonaldGeeNBA) May 2, 2016
“I think he can be. Obviously gonna be some question marks. His work ethic needs to get better.” -Byron on if D’Angelo Russell can be a star
— Donald Green. (@TheDonaldGeeNBA) May 2, 2016
The amount of dislike that Byron has for the Lakers front office and D’Angelo at this moment is pretty obvious and it seems like the break up between him and the Lakers wasn’t the best. He continues to bad mouth the young stud even after he has been removed as HC for that very reason. He didn’t stop there, however, as he went on The Jump podcast to discuss how he felt about his firing:
“When you have conversations with guys, you take them for their word. And that’s what I did. Our conversation a couple of years ago was, ‘This is a rebuilding process. It’s going to take two to three years. It’s going to be very tough. Are you OK with that?’ And as I stated, I said, ‘Yeah I’m OK with it. Are you guys OK with it? If you can deal with it, I can deal with it.'”
“And so when I said I was ‘blindsided’ by it, I figured I at least had another year to get this thing turned around, and I was preparing for that and looking forward to next year,” Scott said on ESPN’s The Jump. “And then boom, that happened, and I said, ‘Wow.’
Later, he addressed what he was thinking when he benched D’Angelo Russell:
“My approach was very simple, you know when I benched him (Russell), everybody said, ‘What are you doing, you gotta let him go out there and make mistakes.’ I really didn’t feel that way because of the fact that I just felt that he felt that this (Be in the starting line-up) was what he was suppose to do, that he was just given this position. I said, ‘You know what? You gotta earn it. Tracy (McGrady) had to earn it. I had to earn it. Why should you be any different?’ So when I made the decision to bench him and Julius Randle, it was basically because they needed to learn how to be professionals, how to come to work every single day, and had to earn the right to be on that court. This is a privilege, to be in this league, so I wanted them to get that and understand it. I wasn’t giving them anything.”
To top this all off, he also spoke on the Nick Young cheating controversy (via Silver Screen and roll):
“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.”
“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.”
In the end, Byron may not have been given a fair shake as a head coach but with what he had, he failed to accomplishment any real development. He had 2 of the worst season in the Lakers history and went 34-164 in 2 season. The part that made the fanbase turn on him were the very head-scratching quotes that came post-game. He constantly criticized the young Lakers, more specifically Russell and Randle, for a lot of things that are irrelevant and had no substance. It got to a point where most Lakers fans were bracing for these comments. He spoke as if he was watching a different version of the game than us. Russell had an amazing game where he went for 27 points against Sacramento and Byron went on to say that he played “okay.” Russell’s performance helped the Lakers get back into the game and almost completed the comeback if it were not for the injury. Yet Byron didn’t really acknowledge him.
Also, comments on his attitude and readiness for the NBA were constantly brought up and it seems to have not stopped. He continues with this entire “privileged” mentality with Russell that he should not expect to be a starter and that he should know what it was like on the bench because that is what apparently makes players great. I may not be a developmental coach but I do know that Russell played well and was the best Laker on the floor for most of the time. That in itself deserves for him to start, not to mention that a 19 year old deserves to get on the court experience.
Most top 10 picks start right away unless they have a star in front of them in the depth chart. The Lakers didn’t have that as Lou Williams and Huertas are both not as good Russell right now. The best form of development is to have them play, it took Byron a couple months and Mitch talking to him so that he could finally come to the realization. If it were up to him, Russell plays off of the bench for the entire season. He threw even more shade at Russell as he said:
“Tracy I think it’s crazy (speaking on the stigma that he can’t develop young players). If you look back on my coaching career, I had Chris Paul when he was a rookie and I gave him the keys to the car and he ran the show. He is great, a perennial All-Star every season and is one of the best point guards to ever play this game. Kyrie Irving, when we drafted him in Cleveland ‘Here are the keys to the car.’ To me I feel, if you are ready, I’ll give them to you. If you aren’t, I will make you earn it.”
So, he was implying that D’Angelo wasn’t ready to run the show. Even though he flashed that superstar potential through the season and didn’t have the best talent around him, Byron has really taken a firm stance on his opinion of Russell. He is yet to take blame for anything really.
For reasons unknown to mankind, Byron actually expected to be back after all that happened even though the team was trending down. His delusional ways will most likely never stop as he will likely join TWCSN and form a tag team alongside James Worthy as they attempt to pile on Luke Walton and the Lakers. The amount of salt when they win will be huge. When they do lose, expect shots to be fired at Russell and Randle. There is no reason for why he should be continually hating on Russell and he is still showing the side of him that all fans hated. The ghost of Byron will continue to haunt the Lakers, even with Luke, his nonsense will continue to be said and I will to stay away for the most part. God help us all.