Scott coached the Lakers for the two worst seasons in the 16-time NBA champion franchise’s history, going 38-126.
The Lakers are making a clean break from the Kobe Bryant era by firing the coach who shepherded the superstar guard’s farewell season, but couldn’t coax many wins out of an otherwise dismal roster. Los Angeles finished with the NBA’s second-worst record this season at 17-65, losing four more games than in its previous franchise-worst season in 2014-15.
Scott received praise from general manager Mitch Kupchak last week for his handling of the final months for Bryant, who was Scott’s teammate during his rookie season with the Lakers 20 years ago. Bryant scored 60 points in his final game April 13, a win over Utah.
But the Lakers struggled to play competent defense or to put together coherent game plans over the past two seasons with a roster of youngsters and unimpressive veterans.
Scott also didn’t seem to connect with the Lakers’ young players. His old-school mentality generated little positive effect in Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson or D’Angelo Russell, the second overall pick whose playing time was curiously limited by Scott early in the season.
Although the Lakers acknowledged that Bryant’s seasonlong showcase took precedence over winning this season, Kupchak and owner Jim Buss still apparently expected more than Scott provided.