‘He’s an Idiot’: D’Angelo Russell Bashes Former Lakers’ Head Coach For His Unfair Treatment

Published 06/16/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
Feb 3, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell (0) dribbles past San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) in the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports


D’Angelo Russell has never shied away from accepting that his time with the Los Angeles Lakers wasn’t the best of his career. But it seems like if there is one person Russell would blame for his poor stint with that franchise, it’s former Lakers coach, Byron Scott. It is no wonder that after just two seasons in, and Russell was already out of the purple and gold. In fact, even today he holds a torch against Scott and has some harsh words for him.

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D’Angelo Russell’s sour relationship with Scott

Russell was the second overall pick by the Lakers in 2015, and the young point guard didn’t really blossom there as he should have. On the other hand, Scott and Russell’s squabbles were common knowledge. But no one knew how bad it was until D’Angelo opened up about it recently.

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Jake Fischer’s new book ‘Built To Lose: How the NBA’s Tanking Era Changed the League Forever’ has documented the pair’s relationship in much detail, thanks to D’Angelo giving his insights about it.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Byron Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks with Kobe Bryant #24 during a timeout in the fourth quarter of the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 100-94. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The story goes that Russell was benched during crunch time situations without any justification. While it is said that Scott wanted to do what was best for Russell and coached him from his heart, D’Angelo didn’t see it that way. “He’s an idiot,” said Russell unapologetically.

He even accused Byron of yanking him off of close contests because he wanted to ignite controversy during their post-game media attention. He stated, “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.”

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Did he do anything to fix things with the Lakers coach?

Russell, however, admitted that he never tried to mend his relationship with Scott. He admitted, “I was just young. I used to do all types of shit to avoid talking to him.” In fact, there is evidence that when Russell questioned Scott’s decisions, he wouldn’t even get a decent response.

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However, with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Russell is having a different experience altogether. He is achieving great things and his time with the Lakers is long gone.

Dec 23, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley (5) celebrates with guard D’Angelo Russell (0) and guard Ricky Rubio (9) during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

But it doesn’t look like D’Angelo will ever forget what he could have become with the purple and gold if Scott wasn’t there. Do you think Byron is responsible for derailing D’Angelo Russell’s career?

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Yashima Bhatia

1330 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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