The Los Angeles Lakers on late Sunday evening have reportedly made the decision to not pick up the option for next season on head coach Byron Scott, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
The Lakers informed Byron Scott that they will not pick up their option on him for next season, sources told ESPN. null
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) April 25, 2016
He spent just two seasons with the Lakers accumulating just 38 wins over that span while finishing with 60-plus losses in back-to-back seasons for the first time in team history. Los Angeles had a franchise-worst 17-65 record this past season.
“We would like to thank Byron for his hard work, dedication and loyalty over the last two years but have decided it is in the best interest of the organization to make a change at this time,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said.
He had stated last week that he “absolutely” expected to be back for the 2016-17 season despite the team’s utter lack of success over the last two years.
However, general manager Mitch Kupchak did indicate that the organization would further evaluate Scott’s job and would meet with him in the few days following the conclusion of the season.
“He’s under contract, and if anything changes, we’ll be the first to let you know,” Kupchak said, according to ESPN.com. “Everybody gets reviewed. I’m sure over the last 16 years, behind closed doors, people were talking about me and reviewing me as well. Anything is possible. Right now, all I anticipate is some informal meetings and then moving forward from there.”
The decision didn’t necessarily come out of nowhere, but with Kupchak stating that he felt that Scott did a great job handling Kobe Bryant‘s final season and developing the young core it gave the perception that he could return next year. There were also numerous reports that indicated that the team was leaning toward bringing him back.
Los Angeles will now venture into the offseason looking to hire their sixth head coach since 2011. The move comes just days after two prominent former head coaches that had interest in coaching the Lakers Scott Brooks and Tom Thibodeau each found new gigs with the Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves respectably.
One name that was linked the franchise throughout the season has been Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton. There are several others that could become targets in the team’s search such as Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy.
Bob Garcia IV
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