The Los Angeles Lakers took their time finding a head coach, waiting until they had filled out their roster to make their hire. They decided on Byron Scott, choosing a candidate who has roots in the organization and understands what it takes to be a Laker. Scott may not be the home run hire that the team was looking for, but with so few options out on the market, Scott was the right choice.
The Lakers made a huge commitment to Kobe Bryant by signing him to a large contract and want to make sure that he finishes up his career the right away. Unfortunately, they have been unable to put together a roster likely to compete in the stacked Western Conference, and may struggle with mediocrity. But Scott represents a coach who Bryant respects, which has not always been the case with past hires. He has known Kobe since he entered the NBA and was his mentor early on. Scott also is well-known amongst fans, who have seen him win championships as a player. These may be the two most important traits, as the organization is hoping to stay afloat in what may be tough years ahead. By hiring a likeable coach, they can keep fans interested and loyal to the team, as well as keeping Bryant motivated.
Scott has had success in the past, although recently he has seen his fair share of struggles. He has high hopes to re-establish defensive principles and instill a winning culture within the team. His offense has been criticized in the past, but he does have experience working with younger players, and should create more discipline throughout the roster. He has become more of a player-friendly coach as the years have gone on, and should get the most out of the youth on the roster.
There may have been splashier options available, but Scott’s familiarity with the organization and star player make him the right hire. He has a lot of work ahead of him just to keep the team competitive, but already has the support of former players and fans. The organization was smart in bringing in Scott, as they hope for better times ahead.