On Friday reports broke that the Los Angeles Lakers offered Byron Scott the team’s head coaching position. Ever since former Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned in April, Scott has been the frontrunner for the position. The Lakers held three interviews with Scott during the evaluation process and are now offering the head coaching position to him.
Not only does Los Angeles feel this is a step in the right direction for the franchise, their superstar guard Kobe Bryant would be delighted to play under Scott. Scott played for the Lakers and was Bryant’s teammate during his rookie season in ‘96. Since their time as teammates, Scott and Bryant have kept close relations and formed a strong bond. This superstar-coach chemistry could be beneficial to LA’s successes this upcoming season.
The head coaching position has been anything but stable for Los Angeles since Phil Jackson’s retirement after the ‘11 season.
The ‘12-‘13 regular season saw the Lakers fire, then head coach, Mike Brown after an 0-8 preseason and 1-4 start to the regular season.
After Brown’s bizarrely short tenure at the helm, LA signed former Phoenix and New York head coach Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni, a former Coach of the Year with Phoenix, managed to get the Lakers into the postseason with a 40-32 regular season record (shortened season due to lockout), however the team was dominated in the first round by San Antonio and eliminated via a series sweep. The following season did not fare much better for D’Antoni as the Lakers put up a very uncharacteristic 27-55 regular season record. D’Antoni resigned as Lakers head coach at season’s end, much to the delight of Lakers fans across the nation.
Byron Scott was a three-time NBA Champion (’85,’87,’88) as a player for the Lakers. Over his thirteen seasons as an NBA coach, Scott has compiled a 416-521 overall regular season record.
Scott started off his head coaching career in New Jersey. Scott would lead the Nets to the NBA Finals in consecutive seasons (’02-’03).
Scott then transitioned to a head coaching position in New Orleans. After his first winning season in New Orleans, Scott was named the ‘07-’08 NBA Coach of the Year.
After finishing his sixth season with the Hornets, Scott was hired as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Scott had a short and brutal tenure as the head coach of Cleveland, sporting a .281 winning percentage and missing the postseason in all three of his seasons at the helm.
While Bryant and the Lakers front office have exhibited great faith in Scott, it is still very uncertain to say that a head coach with a career winning percentage of .444, who has not won a playoff series since ’08 will be the savior of Lakers basketball.
The Lakers and their fans certainly hope that a change of leadership with Scott can be a factor in returning Los Angeles back to the elite tier of teams in the NBA, especially after a historic collapse in ‘14.