It feels like decades ago that Mike D’Antoni resigned his position as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Since then, tons and tons of rumors have surfaced regarding who the next coach will be, when he will be hired, and if Kobe Bryant will have a say in the decision. Well, we do not have any information of who will be the next head coach, but we can be certain that Bryant will not have a voice in it. Also, Mitch Kupchak stated that the timetable to hire a new coach is within the next three to four weeks, in time for the NBA Draft.
With that said, currently, the leading candidate for the job appears to be Byron Scott. He has been the only candidate alongside Mike Dunleavy Sr. to have been interviewed up until this point. Scott is a former guard and fan favorite of the Lakers, playing a key role during the ShowTime era in Los Angeles. He started alongside Magic Johnson, capturing three championships in his extended stint with the team. Scott knows what it takes to win in this city, and is a highly respected figure amongst both the fans and the franchise as a whole.
Furthermore, not only is Scott a favorite in the Lakers’ community, but he fits the criteria laid out by Kupchak as well. Scott is experienced in the coaching department as he led the New Jersey Nets to two-straight NBA Finals appearances back in the early 2000s, coincidentally losing the first to none other than the Lakers. It is also worth noting Scott has coached Chris Paul on the New Orleans Hornets and Kyrie Irving on the Cleveland Cavaliers, displaying his ability to be a true leader even with superstar-caliber players on his team.
Bryant will play a key role in the hiring by whether Kupchak believes the head coach can get the absolute most out of him. Having a figure of respect like Scott will not only win Bryant over, but open his mind to adjusting his game based on the coach’s individual style of play.