LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11 / AP) - Byron Scott will not return to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. He coached the Lakers for the two worst seasons in the 16-time NBA champion franchise's history, going 38-126. Scott visited Good Day LA to talk about his career after the Lakers.
The Lakers finished with the NBA's second-worst record this season at 17-65, losing four more games than in their previous franchise-worst season in 2014-15.
Scott received praise from general manager Mitch Kupchak in April for his handling of the farewell season of Kobe 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. Although the Lakers acknowledged that Bryant's season-long showcase took precedence over winning this season, Kupchak and owner Jim Buss still apparently expected more than Scott provided.
Scott had two seasons with team options left on his contract.
The Lakers chose veteran NBA player Luke Walton as their fifth head coach since Phil Jackson left in 2011. Mike Brown and Mike D'Antoni were fired before Scott, with interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff also getting a short run.
Scott is a veteran head coach with previous tenures at New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland. He led the Nets to two NBA Finals in his first head job, and he won the NBA's Coach of the Year award with the Hornets in 2008.
Yahoo Sports first reported Scott's firing.
The Lakers waited to fire Scott while two top candidates for head coaching positions took other jobs. Tom Thibodeau landed in Minnesota, and Scott Brooks was hired by Washington.
Walton will inherit a young, patchwork roster with a core of intriguing talent. D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson are all solid players, and the Lakers will keep their high draft pick if they finish in the top three of the NBA draft lottery in May.
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