Byron Scott says he has no relationship with D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell and former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott were hardly a match made in heaven. Scott called out Russell publicly on numerous occasions last season, and the star point guard never seemed to respond well to it.
It’s no surprise, then, that Russell has been praising new Lakers coach Luke Walton during the offseason. In a recent interview with Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, Russell lobbed a few blatant grenades at Scott.
“Everything I went through was new, and there was no guidance from the people that were supposed to give me the guidance,” the 20-year-old said. “I feel like if I came into the league this year, in this environment, it wouldn’t have been as tough. Even if Kobe (Bryant) was here, it still wouldn’t have been as tough.
“The coaching staff, the whole atmosphere that this coaching staff brings is different. I’m not saying better, I’m not downgrading the last coaching staff. I’m just saying the atmosphere they bring every day is a winning mentality.”
There’s a very good chance Scott caught wind of those comments. When TMZ chatted with him earlier this week, Scott brushed the comments off.
“It doesn’t affect me one way or another. It doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “My track record with guards speaks for itself. I don’t pay any attention.”
Scott, who has coached guards like Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, was then asked how he would describe his current relationship with Russell. His response to that was more telling.
“I don’t have a relationship with D’Angelo,” he said emphatically.
You can’t blame Russell for being angry over the way Scott threw him under the bus last season. In addition to questioning his development, Scott also made some comments about Russell’s maturity level that made the former Ohio State star look bad. Even if Russell deserved the criticism, most coaches would keep issues like that in-house.