The Los Angeles Lakers are taking their time searching for their next head coach, but the option that makes the most sense is a very familiar face.
Since the passing of Jerry Buss, his son and current owner Jim has not done such a great job of keeping the fans in Los Angeles happy. The Mike Brown era was bad and the Mike D’Antoni era was even worse leaving fans fed up with ownership. While potential candidates like Steve Kerr, Stan Van Gundy and George Karl are great, the Lakers need to make a huge splash and hire Byron Scott as their next head coach.
The Lakers’ next coach needs to be someone who has a strong voice that will get Kobe Bryant to buy in from day one. Bryant was recently a guest on Jimmy Kimmel and when asked about D’Antoni resigning, Bryant said, “I honestly didn’t care to see him go.”
There are very few coaches in the league who Bryant respects and Scott is definitely one of them. When Bryant was a 17-year-old kid playing in his first NBA season, Scott was a 13-year veteran showing him the ropes. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Bryant and Scott have been communicating for awhile about the open coaching vacancy.
After retiring from from the NBA in 1998, Scott began his coaching career and has had overall success. Some may look at his tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers and ask whether his failure there was indicative of his coaching style or whether the Cavaliers just did not have the players to compete at a high level.
However, most people would say coaching in Cleveland after LeBron James‘ decision may have been a tall order for any coach.
For the Lakers, hiring Scott would immediately revitalize a fanbase that is looking for a reason to be optimistic. As a player, Scott was one of the most popular Lakers during the Showtime years and helped play a major role in three championships.
For Scott, taking over a Lakers team with a healthy Bryant, a high draft pick and some cap space may be the early stages for another Lakers championship run. Scott and the Lakers would create even more of a buzz if they brought in assistants like Kurt Rambis and Derek Fisher, who is retiring at the conclusion of the season. It is Hollywood, right?
Unless the Lakers make a huge dent in the free agent market, next year’s season may be rough as well. Hiring Scott however, would definitely be a step in the right direction.