Los Angeles Lakers Fire Byron Scott; Head Coach Search Begins
The Los Angeles Lakers fire Byron Scott as their head coach, the team announced late Sunday night. After another disappointing season, the news comes as no surprise.
Bryon Scott’s Coaching Legacy
Byron Scott coached the Lakers for the two worst seasons in the 16-time NBA champion franchise’s history, going 38-126. The Lakers are making another break from the Kobe Bryant era by firing the coach who shepherded the superstar guard’s farewell season, but couldn’t coax many wins out of an otherwise dismal roster.
Los Angeles finished with the NBA’s second-worst record at 17-65 this season, losing four more games than in its previous franchise-worst season in 2014-15.
The former shooting guard found success early in his coaching career with the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets. He led the franchise to the NBA Finals twice within his first three years in charge, after spending some time as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings.
He’s struggled to replicate that prosperity in the opportunities that have followed, though. He went 203-216 with two playoff appearances during six years in New Orleans and struggled mightily with an undermanned roster in Cleveland, going 64-166 across three seasons.
Bryon Scott gave the world so much Kobe Bryant over the last six months that even the Black Mamba’s most insatiable fans had to leave satisfied. Despite three consecutive season–ending injuries and the necessity of a nonstop maintenance program just to keep him on the court, the 37–year–old Bryant led the Lakers in scoring, shot attempts and usage rate.
On opening night, Bryant took 24 shots in 28 minutes, while 2015 lottery pick D’Angelo Russell mostly stood in the corner and watched. Bryon’s lack of embracing the youth movement doomed him in the end.
The Current State of the Lakers
If any franchise was in need of a clean slate this summer, it was the post-Bryant Lakers. It’s a little distressing that it took them nearly two weeks to come to that conclusion, given that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks went elsewhere in the interim, but a little late is so much better than never.
Consider: Walton should lead a strong pack of remaining candidates, the Lakers have all the money in the world to get this hire right and make noise in free agency, and an A–lister like Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram should be waiting in the lottery unless the ping pong balls fail to cooperate.
Coaching Candidates for the Lakers’ Job
Luke Walton has Lakers’ ties and although the Warriors may have started the season off how they did without Walton on the sidelines, it’s still hard to ignore his presence. Walton is sure to be a hot commodity in the coming weeks.
Other possible names include Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin Ollie, and David Blatt.
(Los Angeles Lakers Fire Byron Scott)