Byron Scott Compares D’Angelo Russell To Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving

After being selected with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, D’Angelo Russell is averaging 10.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists. While Russell has struggled finding minutes in the fourth quarter, he has looked more comfortable in the past two games against the Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers.

With Russell playing limited minutes compared to other top rookies in his class, head coach Byron Scott has received a lot of criticism regarding how he is managing player development with not only Russell, but Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.

Although Russell has recently played more minutes in the fourth quarter, Scott was asked about the difference between Russell, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving during their rookie seasons via Ryan Ward of

Unlike Paul and Irving who were given the keys to run the offense, it will take time for Russell to gain his head coach’s trust. When asked about making play calls himself, Russell recently shared he splits them with Scott.

With the Lakers preparing for the post-Kobe Bryant era, Russell is expected to help lead the franchise back to championship contention. However, the point guard position is the most difficult to learn and it will take Russell some time to learn his strengths and weaknesses in the NBA. Having said that, the point guard out of Ohio State has shown his potential in spurts, especially in the pick-and-roll.

Through the first 12 games of the season, the Lakers have struggled with executing in fourth quarters. Unfortunately, it will not get any easier as they embark on their longest road trip of the season that begins against the Golden State Warriors, who are undefeated.

Scott has his reasons for limiting DR but as I’ve said all along, top 5 draft picks usually get full access on lotto teams.

  • I will say this is Russell’s defence….CP3 and Kyrie didn’t have a Superstar on their teams when they entered the league….So the keys were giving to them immediately…..Magic was an Exception…because he had Kareem already there.

  • I know they are talking about rookie seasons.Different scenarios and different teams.

    Hard to say if Russell will get to super star levels?

    Can’t compare stars and super stars to slightly above average rookies. Perhaps a few years down the road. But at this point I won’t mention D’Angelo in the same breath or sentence with Kyrie Irving and CP3. D’Angelo is not even playing on Clarkson’s level and Clarkson is a couple of levels below CP3 and Kyrie Irving IMO.

    It’s only 12 games into the season. Plenty of time before any comparisons need to be made IMO.


  • I got the leaked transcript of Byron’s interview with Lakers.

    Mitch: Why should we hire you?
    Byron: Defence. Defence. Defence. Defence. Kobe. Showtime. Defence. Old school. Defence. Olden but Golden days. Defence.
    Mitch: Well, you don’t make much sense but we understand what you bring to table. But you haven’t answered why should we hire you and not any other coach who can teach Defence too.
    Byron: Kobe. Showtime. Kobe. Championships. Old School. Suicide runs. Rebounding. Basics. Kobe. Showtime.
    Mitch: Come on man, you have been saying this since your last 3 interviews. We are very close to hire Mike Dunleavy Sr. So, last time, give us your plan and stop treating us like LA media.
    Byron: Ok, you have taken huge risks with CP3, Nash and Howard trade. Legendary stuff you pulled it off and were favourites to win championships and form dynasty but it didn’t work out. Now you don’t have picks or players or cap-space for Free Agents or Trades. Let me make you an offer you cant refuse. I will give you each and every pick in next 3-4 years which you can use to get good players in draft. Lock them up for long time deals or trade them for future superstars, your choice. You have given Kobe his retirement package as a thank you note. He wont accept it happily and will try to win more games making us lose draft spots. Let me handle him and his ego, making him happy to let you do your work. I have very good track record to get and develop lottery picks and I will do it again. I know this game like the back of my hand. Lakers media will be bombarded with all nostalgic references and showtime and Defence quotes to save them from memories of Da’Antoni era and hypnotize them to our happy Showtime era. I can….
    Mitch: Say no more. you’re hired. Wear black suit and tie, get your buddies, we will start with the Showtime reunion at Monday evening 4. Dont be late, Mister.
    Byron: Punctuality. Work ethic. Defence. Kobe. Showtime. Defence.
    Mitch: Haha, I like you already.


  • Russell better get to superstar levels or the Lakers made the wrong pick. The whole reason that the Lakers picked Russell was because he showed potential of being a NBA franchise player. Although he gets a few years to develop (at least in my book), if he doesn’t become that NBA franchise player, it will have been a bad pick. That is the pressure he now has to play under.

  • I agree. Obviously hindsight is 20/20. I think the Lakers wanted Towns and once he was taken they went into plan B. I would have grabbed Rondo ( a proven star in the league on both sides of the ball) and perhaps Okafor. But I am a seize the moment play every game as if it were your last kind of guy. I would be more like a Popovich,never blowing my whole team up just adding as needed. The Lakers had the best team in basketball and Phil Jackson’s ego or wallet got them swept by the sorry Mav’s. Then some wise guy got the idea that it was the team that was the problem even though that team had just won two back to back championships.

    Well we are now paying the price of starting from scratch. It takes time to build team unity, trust, confidence and chemistry. It never happens over night.

    Hopefully D’ Angelo keeps improving but there are never any guarantees with unknown players. Personally I never label a player good or great just off of their potential. There are challenges a player has to rise up to playing at home and on the road well for a long period of time (at least half a season) before you get a true glimpse into what they can do in the NBA IMO.He’s 19 and some mature faster than others. Time will determine things. Russell and our young players just have to keep working hard to improve. I am pulling for our players both young and veteran.

    Go Russell Go Lakers !


  • My honest opinion now (hindsight) is that the current way the Lakers are constructed (coaching, roster, etc) would have messed up Towns. He seems like a guy that’s a real emotion-driven type person. I think he would have had a real problem making this work and it could have messed up his career in the NBA. For his sake, I’m glad he didn’t come here. Sam Mitchell seems to really be nurturing him well.

    I have looked at the same situation like you highlight as to that last season with Phil and the summer/season that followed many times over the past few seasons. I will never understand why teams that win blow up their teams. I will go one further for you and say that the Lakers went to 3 Finals in a row and then blew up that team. Why? The fall started then…we are paying for it now.

    I still contend that the right move was drafting Okafor and signing Rondo. I will continue to contend that regardless of what happens with Russell’s career or Okafor’s. It seems like the Lakers have repeatedly chosen the more difficult, more risky choices since parting ways with Phil because they appear to be the ones with the greatest upside. Instead, the simple decisions have repeatedly been sitting there for them time after time. I continue to be reminded on here that the draft is long over, which I agree. However, the reason I keep bringing it up is because I believe that history will continue to repeat itself if the Lakers don’t learn. They will continue to make the wrong choices because the other ones look like they can bring the highest return.

    Finally, I think trust, confidence and chemistry sum up the real issues. I believe these issues start at the top. Since Dr. Buss moved on, nobody trust the FO/Ownership…and they don’t appear to trust themselves either. They make decisions that seem to expose a lack of confidence in the other decisions they have already made. And most importantly, they don’t seem to have any chemistry with each other.

  • Magic isn’t the exception. I would say that I can find you just as many superstar guards that were given the keys as ones that were not. It all depends on draft order.

  • I agree with everything you said, and considering it was a mouthful it was still very precise IMO.

    All we can do is just support the players who are not responsible for F.O. decisions. And suffer through the hard times that are based off of questionable decisions made by those in position to make them. Hopefully the team plays well tonight.

    Go Lakers !


  • Well…name a Superstar guard that was given the keys to the Franchise that already had a superstar there….
    Besides Magic.

  • First of all…Magic was not given the keys his first year. It was Kareem’s team. Magic earned the keys by what he did on the court that first season.

    Second, it was a stretch to say just as many guards….but using recent examples, I would say that Mike Conley (Zach Randolph/Marc Gasol) entered the league and was given the keys on a team that already had established stars.

  • Magic was given the keys his 1st year…Hence the beginning of Showtime….his infectious play and unselfishness even had a usually stoic Kareem high 5ing and rejuvenated….that was the tranfer of the Keys…With no complaints from Kareem.Incidentally…Gasol and Randolph was up and coming Stars..not Superstars as was Kareem….Notice in my initial post…I said Superstars….You have Stars in this league and then you have Superstars…..Superstars are Box Office.

  • If Byron has a lifetime gig, the only guy he even consider Kyrie or CP3 is his lotto pick in 2018. Dennis Smith is the real deal. The next Superstar guard regardless of who’s around him.

  • I watched that first season….Magic wasn’t given the keys. It’s difficult to explain because with the point guard having the ball so much it would appear that Magic had the keys, but when I think of “keys” I’m thinking of pecking order. If Magic had the keys, he would not have went to Kareem to celebrate…Kareem would have come to him. If Magic had the keys, he would not have advocated for the coach to be fired, he would have been happy especially considering they had just won a championship.

  • Let’s breakdown your statements……Remember after Magic jump on Kareem…he told magic there were 81gms left….to which Magic said” if you make 81 more shots like that..I’ll hug you 81 more times.”……So it would not matter who made the last shot..he was happy winning..especially it being his 1st NBA game….2- Getting the coach fired (as you would say)is even more Evidence he had the Keys…because just a regular player is not going to be able to make that happen..especially just after winning a championship.

  • What does your first comment have to do with Magic having the keys?

    Your second comment contradicts your premise which was that the coach is the one that gives the keys. If Westhead was the one giving the keys, why would Magic want to fire that coach having received the keys from him. Instead, I think (media didn’t cover stories like this much back then) Magic wanted the keys and got Westhead fired so he could have them.

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