It’s no secret D’Angelo Russell and former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott didn’t see eye-to-eye last season. Russell went from starter to the bench to back to being a starter during his rookie season and throughout the process never seemed to earn the respect of Scott.
With the team parting ways with Scott and bringing in Luke Walton as his successor, Russell has taken a few subtle shots at Scott for the way the team was run last year. Although Russell doesn’t completely blame Scott for a subpar rookie year or a forgettable 17-win finish to the season, there’s clearly no love lost between the two.
TMZ recently caught up with Scott and asked him about Russell’s subtle criticism about the way he coached the Lakers last season. Scott, in classic fashion, claims he’s not bothered by the all the talk.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Scott said to TMZ.com. “My track record with guards speaks for itself. I don’t pay, really, no attention.”
Scott was then asked whether he has a relationship with Russell. Scott didn’t hesitate to say a relationship between the two doesn’t exist, via TMZ.
“I don’t have a relationship with D’Angelo.”
Scott was also asked whether he wants a relationship with the Lakers point guard.
“Not necessarily. Don’t need one.”
Clearly, Scott has moved on. He seems to be enjoying his time away from the game and apparently has no interest in having any kind of relationship with Russell moving forward. That’s not all that surprising after the disaster that was last season.
In other non-Russell topics, Scott chimed in on whether his former team will make the playoffs this season, via TMZ.
“Time will tell,” Scott said of the Lakers’ playoff hopes. “If they come together as quickly as they could, it’s a possibility.”
Although the Lakers are expected to be much improved with the addition of Walton along with a few veterans and rookie Brandon Ingram, making the playoffs seems to be a lofty goal for the storied franchise. Finishing the season at or near .500 also appears to be a stretch ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.[H/T Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk]