Byron Scott’s response to Magic Johnson saying he wants Lakers to tank: ‘LOL’
Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott relied on verbal shorthand to respond to Magic Johnson’s comment this week that he hopes the team loses every game.
“I hope the Lakers lose every game because if you’re going to lose, lose. I’m serious,” Johnson said at an event in New York, according to Newsday. “If you’re going to lose, you have to lose, because you can’t be in the middle of the pack. You either have to be great or you have to be bad to get a good pick.”
Johnson’s hope that the Lakers tank didn’t sit all that well with Scott, although he attempted to laugh off the Lakers legend’s thoughts.
When asked if he planned to shoot Magic a text regarding the comments, Scott reportedly told reporters, “Yeah. LOL,” per a report from The Los Angeles Times.
Scott did, though, expand upon his LOL-isms, saying that it’s easy to say such things related to tanking when you’re not dealing with the day-in, day-out grind of an NBA season.
“That’s easy to say that but when you’re behind the scenes and when you’re in the trenches and you’re coaching, that’s not something that you want to do,” said Scott. “I don’t think our players look at it that way. We’ve got to try to go out there and win every game possible. If we lose games, it’s one thing. But to go out and try to lose, that’s a different story. And I think that sends a message to those guys in there that, again, it’s going back to that losing mentality. We don’t want to create that here.”
The Lakers currently sit at 5-16, the second-worst record in the Western Conference. While Johnson’s thoughts related to tanking may be sound reasoning theoretically, the chances of someone as proud as one Kobe Bryant would willingly just roll over and lose for the sake of losing.
“I’ve got to call Magic,” Scott joked, smiling as he ended his pre-game interview ahead of the Lakers’ game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Johnson and Scott of course are good pals, going all the way back to when the two were teammates on three Lakers championship teams.
One is left to wonder how NBA commissioner Adam Silver feels about one of the true icons of the game being a vocal proponent of tanking. If Scott had been asked that question by reporters, perhaps he would have said something along the lines of “IDK.” Or at least he would text that in response to such an inquiry.
(photo credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)