When Byron Scott was fired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers last April, his initial reaction, as one might expect, was not positive.
“When Mitch Kupchak called me in and let me know, my first reaction was just to grab him and try to beat the crap out of him,” Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “But when I left that office, I went home and in an hour, hour-and-a-half, I was like, ‘Okay, tomorrow let’s get up, let’s work out, let’s do what we got to do and let’s start thinking about what we’re doing next.’”
Scott, who won three NBA titles with Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers in the 1980s, coached the team for its two worst seasons in franchise history. The Lakers went 21-61 in 2014-15 and 17-65 in 2015-16. To be fair, though, the roster was dismal, and the 2015-16 season was dedicated to Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour. Scott thought he would have more time to rebuild the franchise, but Kupchak didn’t allow it.
Still, Scott got over it.
“Everybody’s different,” Scott said. “For some people, it’s very hard to deal with and get over, and for some people, it takes them a couple of hours or maybe a day or so to kind of get over it and move on. When I lost my job in L.A., everybody knew that this was a dream job for me. It was one of the most important jobs I’ve ever taken. I knew the pressure and the responsibilities that came with it.”
Scott learned a great deal from his head-coaching experience in Los Angeles. He details some of those lessons in his new book, “Slam-Dunk Success: Leading from Every Position on Life’s Court,” which he co-authored with business executive Charlie Norris.
“We celebrate the failures because those are things that you really learn from for the most part,” Scott said. “I got over it. You got to move on. You got to move past it and think about your future. My mom used to always say, ‘Once a door is closed, a window opens.’ You got to be able to kind of put things behind you as quick as possible so it allows you to move on.”