Los Angles Lakers Coach Byron Scott Still Criticizing D’Angelo Russell, Could Be Fired

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott continues to criticize rookie guard D’Angelo Russell, and it might be time for the team to make a change in leadership after Kobe Bryant finally walks away from the NBA, according to Sporting News.

There are different styles of coaching in the NBA. Some are player friendly, while others use the disciplinarian method to get players to do what they want. Byron Scott mixes elements of both coaching styles depending on each player’s professional basketball career.

Kobe Bryant not only possesses one of the most impressive NBA resumes of all time, but he’s also a former teammate of Byron Scott as well. Good or bad, Scott has given all the freedom and leeway in the world to Bryant, even when he is struggling on the court. Kobe is planning to retire after this season, his 20th overall.

D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell

By the time that his playing career is over, D’Angelo Russell might end up being one of the best NBA players of all time. Right now, however, Byron Scott seems to only see him as a 19-year-old with a fairly empty professional resume and a penchant for playing workout discipline. Russell has publicly been a lightning rod of criticism all season long, and he even lost his place in the starting lineup, something that many players view as a major embarrassment.

There are reports stating Byron Scott has issues with D’Angelo Russell because he feels the player is an arrogant rookie who wants to put up a lot of points, which is ironic because that’s how Kobe Bryant was described when he first came into the NBA. As a rookie, Bryant was a backup to Eddie Jones, a veteran All-Star player.

D’Angelo Russell is currently serving as a backup to promising young guard Jordan Clarkson, one of the guys the Los Angeles Lakers want to build around, and Lou Williams, a veteran scorer that is most effective when used as a spark-plug of the bench. Byron Scott seems to be hoping that Russell can work his way back into the starting lineup after the NBA All-Star break in February.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant

Some NBA players take criticism well. Others do not. If there’s a risk that D’Angelo Russell will lean more towards the latter than the former, then Los Angeles Lakers owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak might need to evaluate Byron Scott to see if he’s the right man to lead the long rebuilding process.

Firing Byron Scott doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s not a good basketball coach. Some are better suited to lead a veteran team, like the New Jersey Nets squad that he led to the NBA Finals. That team was anchored by Jason Kidd and was filed with experienced players that understood and embraced the roles that they were tasked with.

Jason Kidd, who is now the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, was the ultimate floor general in the NBA. D’Angelo Russell may never be that, especially since he has a scoring mentality, but he doesn’t need to be. If Byron Scott insists on shoving a square peg into a round hole, that might impede the development of the young Los Angeles Lakers building blocks.

Finding the right fit is essential if you want to be an NBA champion. Phil Jackson built his legacy by finding players that could fit with Michael Jordan and his Triangle Offense for the Chicago Bulls. That won him six NBA titles. If the Los Angeles Lakers want to return to their winning ways, it is imperative to find someone who can do that for Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.

If that man is not Byron Scott, then a different head coach needs to be brought in.

[Photo by Sean M Haffey/Getty Images]