D’Angelo Russell criticizes his ‘idiot’ former Lakers coach Byron Scott
Byron Scott will go down as one of the worst coaches in Los Angeles Lakers history, and one of his players from that era certainly agrees.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell spoke recently with Jake Fischer for Fischer’s new book “Built To Lose: How the NBA’s Tanking Era Changed the League Forever.” In an excerpt, Russell tore into Scott, his first head coach in the NBA.
“He’s an idiot,” said Russell of Scott, per Silver Screen & Roll. “I just think he was malicious for no reason. He’s a solid man. But as a coach, he was bad. He was just bad at his job.”
The excerpt adds that Russell thought Scott often pulled him from close games just to spark controversy and attention for Scott’s postgame press conferences. Fischer also says that Scott did not handle fellow Lakers youngster Julius Randle with the same kid gloves.
“I was just young,” Russell went on. “I used to do all types of s— to avoid talking to him.”
Scott was only Russell’s coach for one season, his 2015-16 rookie campaign. But it was a season that Russell would much rather forget. He was the No. 2 overall pick that year but would often get benched by Scott, sometimes for ridiculous reasons. Scott also publicly questioned Russell’s maturity on multiple occasions.
Scott ended up getting fired after that season, finishing with the single worst winning percentage (.227) of any coach in Lakers franchise history. Russell only lasted for one more year in Los Angeles before he was traded but ended up developing into an All-Star elsewhere. After his firing, Scott openly stated that he had no relationship with Russell. It is clear based on Russell’s latest comments that the feeling there is very mutual.