The Los Angeles Lakers have begun their head coach search and one of the candidates the organization interviewed in Byron Scott believes he is the right man for the job, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“I don’t feel I’m a very arrogant guy, but I feel like I am the perfect guy for this job,” Scott told the “Max & Marcellus” show on ESPNLA 710 Radio on Thursday. “I got a great relationship with Kobe. I know the team, know the roster. I watched them all season long and I just think it would be a great fit.”
Scott has had plenty of success on the court and on the sidelines in the NBA. As a head coach he lead the then-New Jersey Nets to back to back Finals appearances, and with then-New Orleans Hornets he won the 2007-08 NBA coach of the year after leading them to a 56–26 and second overall seed in the Western Conference playoffs. However, he did experience a difficult two year stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers that had neither team in both years win more than 24 games, but for his overall coaching career it is has been solid for the most part.
As a player he spent 11 of his 14 years in the NBA with Los Angeles where played a major role on the Showtime teams in the 1980s he won three titles during that span.
The 53-year-old’s familiarity with the franchise and Kobe Bryant, who he was teammates with in his Bryant’s rookie season in 1996 and has maintained a solid relationship with over the years, may play in favor with him possibly landing the job. If given the position, Scott knows that it will priority No.1 to establish a fluid level of communication with the Lakers’ all-time leading scorer as he is signed under contract for the next two seasons.
“Obviously, if I get the job, the first conversation I have is with Kobe,” said Scott, who spent last season as an analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet, the Lakers’ television partner. “We have to talk about the future of the Los Angeles Lakers. We have to also talk about which type of direction we’ll be taking and also talk about the type of game that he’s going to be playing because he’s going to have to change his game a little bit, and I think he knows that.
This is something that neither the last two hires in Mike D’Antoni and Mike Brown never truly spoke about getting done when they were given the job. Bryant is the team’s best player and him buying into whoever Los Angeles’ next head coach is will be important for the organization moving forward because if he isn’t completely invested in what their next lead man’s philosophy what’s to say his teammates will be.
Although it is early in the head coach search process, which Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said will take at least two to three weeks to complete, Scott has emerged as an early front runner for the position. He appears to possesses the needed familiarity with the organization, respect from players, and leadership qualities that are required to be successful as a head coach in the NBA.
Scott clearly desires the job and is confident that he can lead the Lakers back to prominence, it is now up the organization’s front office if they want him as their head coach. The bottom line is that whoever the Lakers choose it will be a decision made with a lot of consideration into what is best for the team moving forward.
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