Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell can’t help himself but compare their new head coach Luke Walton to former coach Byron Scott. After the purple and gold suffered their worst season, should Scott take the blame?
The 2015-16 NBA season was a disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers after finishing at the 15th spot in the Western Conference with the worst franchise record of 17-65. Last season also marked the end of the basketball career of Kobe Bryant, leaving the Lakers to the hands of their young core. With the hope of reviving their legacy, the Lakers decided to undergo a rebuilding process and made a huge adjustment on their roster.
The Lakers made their first move by firing coach Byron Scott and replacing him with Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton. Walton made a good impression when he became the Warriors’ interim coach last season, starting with 39-4, the second-best start in league history.
When the Lakers officially proclaimed Luke Walton as their new head coach, players can’t help themselves but expressed their excitement. For D’Angelo Russell, his rookie season was a roller coaster ride. Scott’s coaching style made it harder for young players like Russell to unleash their full potential.
“Last off-season was Looney Tunes,” Russell said Tuesday. “Wasn’t real. I didn’t get nothing out of it.”
The incoming sophomore has a high hope with their new head coach next season. In an interview with Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times, D’Angelo Russell said that playing under Luke Walton will be fun and make the team grow.
“I feel like if I came into the league this year, in this environment, it wouldn’t have been as tough,” Russell said. “Even if Kobe was here, it still wouldn’t have been as tough.”
As of now, the Lakers are still finding the perfect replacement for ‘The Mamba’. The Lakers may not be a title contender next season, but they are currently composed of promising players who have the capability to develop into future superstars. Under Luke Walton, the Lakers are expected to be a better team than they were last season.