As the President of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jeanie Buss ultimately makes the final decisions when it comes to the state of the team. She and the rest of the front office will have a very important one to make in the off-season regarding head coach Byron Scott.
Scott has come under a lot of criticism this season and no one is sure if he will be brought back next year. Much of the criticism has centered around Scott’s balance of developing the team’s young players with the Kobe Bryant farewell tour.
Scott has always had a great relationship with the Lakers front office, consistently talking with Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak. In an interview on the NBA A to Z Podcast with Sam Amick of USA Today, however, Jeanie Buss revealed that she and Scott rarely speak:
“I haven’t had a conversation with Byron Scott (about the challenges of the Bryant dynamic),” Jeanie said. “I think I’ve talked to him maybe three times since he was hired. And I know he must be extremely busy with such a young group of players (but) I don’t really know if that’s how he feels about it. He hasn’t expressed that to me but yet we really haven’t had too many conversations where that would ever come up.”
Buss did continue to defend Scott, noting that his job is time consuming and also pledged her continued support of him:
“Being a head coach in the NBA is a very time-consuming job and so that might be something would be difficult for him to find the time, nor do I talk Xs and Os. Maybe there really wouldn’t be anything I could offer him in terms of support (but) I am supportive of him and that if he did need something, I would make sure that our staff would provide it.”
It is interesting to say the least that Buss and Scott rarely speak. As Buss noted, she can’t talk basketball strategy with Scott and as such, maybe he doesn’t feel the need to talk with her on a regular basis during the season.
The lack of communication between them hasn’t hurt her support of him as Lakers head coach, however, which is the most important thing.