It’s no secret that Byron Scott’s tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers did not go as planned. Formerly a legend in the eyes of fans, Scott alienated himself due to his poor coaching and old-school mentality that made him lose the locker room.
Scott was fired after two years on the job which happened to be the two worst seasons in Lakers’ history. More important than the team’s record was Scott’s relationship with the team’s core, something he was not able to salvage.
Scott has been open about his disappointment in being let go by the organization, with his comments indicating that he felt the team had lied to him about his future.
Scott reiterated those feelings on the BJ x Bucher Podcast, saying that he retired from the NBA due to the bitterness felt by being fired by the Lakers:
“I don’t exactly know what I said, but…I didn’t think I said I was retiring. I think I said I was done with the NBA. Still got a little bitterness with the way the last job ended with the Lakers. The whole league, in general, the non-loyalty and the lies and the deceit that goes along just made me feel that ‘Hey I don’t need to do this anymore.’ That’s how I felt at the time and I talked to TMZ about it when I was leaving to go where ever I was going at that time and I still pretty much feel that way.”
While Scott was adamant about that bitterness, he did make sure to praise the organization and say that he still felt connected to the team:
“To be honest with you, I went to their last home game last year. I saw Jeanie, I talked to her. She gave me a great hug. I still love that organization. My backcourt mate, my buddy, my boy Earvin who’s taken over, I see him almost three times a week at the gym. We still talk. Rob Pelinka, I got a chance to see when I was at that game as well. Luke Walton is a guy who I’ve known since he was a kid. So I still have nothing but love for that organization, I still want that organization to do extremely well. I have no ill will whatsoever. I’m very happy and very content in what I’m doing. I’m enjoying my life. I look forward to the season starting because I”m a fan. I’m a basketball guy so I want them to do well because of the relationship I do have with that organization in the past and in the present. I don’t wish nothing bad on anybody. I want them to do great because, number one, my boy is there, Earvin, who is taking over and, number two, Jeanie, who’s been nothing but great since I’ve known her. So I want that organization to do well.”
Scott’s comments all-in-all seem to indicate major bitterness towards Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak as the former head coach mentioned that “90 percent of the reason” free agents want to sign in LA is due to Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson.
Scott clearly has resentment for how he was let go but it’s hard to blame the Lakers too much considering Scott’s resume as a head coach, especially in LA.