D’Angelo Russell on former Lakers head coach Byron Scott: ‘He’s an idiot’

David Akerman
3 Min Read

At one point, it was thought that D’Angelo Russell would be one of the young players to lead the Los Angeles Lakers back to NBA dominance.

That plan didn’t work out, and after Russell’s second season with the Lakers, he was traded away to the Brooklyn Nets.

Russell’s rookie season was the most tumultuous one, as he constantly clashed with former Lakers head coach Byron Scott.

In NBA insider Jake Fischer’s new book “Built To Lose: How the NBA’s Tanking Era Changed the League Forever,” the friction between Russell and Scott was touched on.

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, frankly, disagrees,” wrote Fischer. “Scott didn’t handle sophomore forward Julius Randle with the same kids gloves. ‘He’s an idiot,’ Russell says of his coach.

“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.’”

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.”

Since his time in Los Angeles, Russell has improved his game and matured. He’s been named an All-Star once in his career and is seen as a core building block with his new team, the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Although it didn’t necessarily work out between Russell and the Lakers, both parties seem to be in better situations currently than they were back then.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.