After taking an aloof attitude towards their head coaching position for months, the Los Angeles Lakers finally have a new head coach, Byron Scott. The team officially hired Scott today to be the 25th coach in team history in a move that puts the veteran head coaching in a no-win situation.
The deal, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, will be for four years and worth $17 million, bringing an end to the strange coaching search that showed how far the Lakers are from contending for an NBA title.
Scott is no different than Carlos Boozer or Jeremy Lin, two high-priced veterans that will help the Lakers compete this season but are unable to help the team truly contend. The former Laker, who actually played with Kobe Bryant during his last season, was hired as much to appease Bryant as he was to win basketball games.
The fact that the Lakers were putting off the decision to hire a coach in case allowing LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony to choose their own coach would have increased the chances of them coming to Los Angeles, showed that Scott was nothing more than a fallback option. A name that gives a below-average team a little more legitimacy.
The 13-year coaching veteran, who has two NBA Finals appearances on his resume, simply doesn’t have the talent to be successful. In basketball more than any other sport, winning is often times about having great players, and right now an aging Bryant is the best thing the Lakers have to offer.
Outside of Bryant, the rest of the roster, excluding Nick Young and Julius Randle, are just fill-ins. Players like Lin and Boozer can help the Lakers compete and stay relevant, but aren’t good enough to be part of a championship foundation.
Scott is of the same ilk. Yes, his resume sounds good, but not when you realize his overall winning percentage as an NBA head coach is 47 percent. Plus, eight of the last 10 teams he has coached failed to make the playoffs.
In the end, Scott is just a name, a veteran re-tread getting another chance because he is willing to accept a job where his chances of success are slim to none. He is designed to add credibility to a team in need of some. But all is said and done. The lack of talent will be his downfall and that’s why his tenure is destined for failure before it’s even begun.