Over the past few months, the Los Angeles Lakers have been weighing their options following the resignation of head coach Mike D’Antoni. Although there’s been numerous candidates interviewed for the coaching vacancy in Los Angeles including Mike Dunleavy, Kurt Rambis, Alvin Gentry and Lionel Hollins, the team has finally offered Byron Scott the position, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard on July 25:
Sources: The Los Angeles Lakers have offered Byron Scott their head coaching job. The two sides are now in negotiations.
Scott has been considered the frontrunner to land the vacant head coaching job in Los Angeles ever since the process began to find a new coach back in April. D’Antoni resigned unexpectedly on April 30 leaving the team with options heading into NBA free agency. One of the selling points to free agent superstars Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James was the ability to have input in the coaching search, but the team failed to land either player.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne confirmed Broussard’s report that negotiations between the Lakers and Scott have begun:
Can confirm @Chris_Broussard tweet that Lakers are in negotiations w/ Byron Scott.
One thing that may have held up talks with Scott over the last few weeks is the terms of the deal. The former Coach of the Year will likely want some long-term security while taking on an extensive rebuilding process in Los Angeles. One of the reasons D’Antoni chose to resign was that the fourth year of his deal wasn’t guaranteed and he wanted that security rather than heading into another season with his job on the line.
With Scott potentially coming into the fold in Los Angeles, the head coach brings quite a bit to the table. Not only did Scott win Coach of the Year back in 2008 with the New Orleans Hornets, but he’s also taken a team to the NBA Finals twice in his career. Scott led the New Jersey Nets to the Finals with Jason Kidd leading the way. Unfortunately for Scott, the Nets were overmatched by Kobe’s Lakers and Tim Duncan’s San Antonio Spurs in consecutive seasons.
Along with having an impressive coaching resume, Scott also has a great relationship with Kobe Bryant. Scott played alongside Kobe during the superstar’s rookie season during the 1996-97 season in Los Angeles and became somewhat of a mentor to the rising star. Kobe and Byron have maintained that strong relationship to this day with the five-time NBA champion endorsing the potential hiring of his former teammate.