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 in the book, the former Lakers guard Russell tore into Byron Scott, who was 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.”
Jim Eyen, who was an assistant coach for the Lakers during Russell’s rookie season offered his thoughts on the situation to Fischer.
“I think Byron coached D’Angelo from the heart. He did what he thought the best thing for D’Angelo was. It would have been easier had he just taken the path of least resistance,” Eyen said. “But he didn’t. It’s a lot more difficult to try to do it, what you feel is the right way, and discipline when you need to disciple. Pat him on the butt me give him accolades when he deserves it and just do what you need to do for not only the team, but for the long term of the player.”
Russell didn’t mince words when giving his thoughts on Scott.
“Russell felt Scott often yanked him from close contests purely to spark controversy and attention for his postgame media availability. ‘I just think he was malicious for no reason,’ Russell says. ‘He’s a solid man. But as a coach, he was bad. He was just bad at his job.’”
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The now 25-year-old admitted that he didn’t do everything correctly during that time either.
“When Scott summoned Russell back to the bench, Russell would take his most circuitous path in order to duck high-fiving the coaching staff,” Fischer wrote. “‘I was just young. I used to do all types of s— to avoid talking to him,’ Russell says. The guard bristled in his seat at the end of Los Angeles’ pine. Lakers officials diagnosed the dynamic evidence of Russell’s immaturity issues scouts across the league has flagged before the draft.”
Byron Scott was asked about the comments. His response suggests he’s not a big fan.
How many people get to go dinner and asked about someone calling them an idiot.
Being a celebrity isn’t easy. I’m surprised Byron kept his cool.
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