After two seasons as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Byron Scott was given his walking papers last month with the team wanting to go in another direction following a franchise-worst record of 17-65.
It didn’t take long for the Lakers brass to come to the decision to part ways with Scott. The Lakers fired the 55-year-old about a week and a half after Kobe Bryant’s 60-point sendoff at the Staples Center on April 13.
On Wednesday, Lakers vice president of basketball operations and part-owner, Jim Buss, broke his silence about the team’s decision to fire Scott after two seasons. Buss believes Scott was given a decent amount of time during his stint as coach in Los Angeles, via Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:
“It was a fair amount of time,” said Buss on Scott’s dismissal. “There was a lot to go through before that decision was made. I’m not going to have a knee-jerk reaction because everybody says, ‘You won 17 games, he’s got to go.’ I made a promise to sit with him and [general manager] Mitch [Kupchak] and give him a fair shake.”
Back in the summer of 2014, Scott signed a four-year deal with the Lakers to become Mike D’Antoni’s successor. The fourth year of the deal was a team option that many believed the Lakers brass would use to get out of the deal had the former NBA Coach of the Year not shown considerable improvement in his third season.
Unfortunately for Scott, who recently admitted he was blindsided by the firing, the team’s front office wasn’t willing to go through another season with him at the helm. Scott finished his stint with the Lakers with only 38 wins to his credit over the course of two seasons.
Following Scott’s departure, the Lakers brass promptly began the coaching search and took less than a week to find their new leader on the sidelines in Luke Walton. The current Golden State Warriors assistant coach has agreed to sign a five-year deal with the team said to be worth $25 million.