The Lakers are perhaps the most storied franchise in NBA history, but ongoing turmoil in the team’s front office has led to yet another major change.
According to The Guardian, the Los Angeles Lakers have officially announced that Byron Scott will not return as head coach of the team next season. Scott, a former Lakers player, coached the team to a disappointing 38-126 record over two years.
As perennial All-Star Kobe Bryant bids farewell to the league, the Lakers are now relying on a host of young talent to revive the franchise. Mitch Kupchak, general manager of the team, decided that Scott was no longer the right person to coach these young players.
“We would like to thank Byron for his hard work, dedication, and loyalty over the last two years, but have decided it is in the best interest of the organization to make a change at this time,” Kupchak said.
The Lakers’ new youthful roster closely mirrors that of a new startup company, and Kupchak seems to feel as if Scott was a poor CEO. The business world can be tough, especially for startups. In this year’s first quarter, just 11 companies went public, down 69% since the last quarter of 2015 and 71% from last year’s first quarter.
But for an established franchise like the Lakers, coaches are to players what CEOs are to stockholders. If they don’t deliver, they can make plenty of other people very unhappy.
“This is my dream job, and obviously you want the opportunity to turn it all around,” Scott said. “But I understand the business of basketball, and it’s all about wins and losses.”
As the Los Angeles Times reported, many fans of the team are just as frustrated with Kupchak as they are with Scott. By waiting until April to make a final decision on Scott’s future, Kupchak missed his chance to recruit Scott Brooks or Tom Thibodeau, who have now accepted positions with other teams.
Despite the criticism that is being aimed towards Scott, some fans believe that he did the best he could with the young roster. Scott also did a commendable job handling Kobe Bryant’s “farewell tour,” drawing up a game plan that allowed the superstar to score 60 points in his final NBA game.
While many fans are rejoicing at the end of the Byron Scott era, others are wondering which era is next.