Byron Scott named head coach of Los Angeles Lakers
By Ian Palmer
In NBA betting news, the Los Angeles Lakers have decided to go with Byron Scott as the team’s new head coach. Scott and the NBA club have agreed on a four-year contract which is worth $17 million to the ex-Lakers shooting guard. Scott, who won three NBA crowns with the franchise, is taking over from former coach Mike D’Antoni, who handed in his resignation back on April 30. Scott said his new job is a dream come true since he’s always wanted to be the head coach of the Lakers ever since starting his coaching career.
He thanked team owners Jim and Jeanie Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak for giving him the opportunity to live out his dream. Scott has plenty of NBA coaching experience as he’s had stints with the Cleveland, New Orleans and New Jersey in the past. He was a teammate of Kobe Bryant during Bryant’s rookie season of 1996/97 and the player endorsed Scott for the position earlier in July.
Bryant told the press, “He was my rookie mentor when I first came in the league, so I had to do things like get him doughnuts and run errands for him, things like that.’We’ve had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years.”
Scott is quite familiar with the current Lakers squad as he was a commentator on the club’s television network last season. If he’s like most Lakers’ fans, he didn’t like what he saw though since the team finished the campaign with a 27-55 record and missed the postseason for the third time in the last 38 years. The 55 defeats were the most ever during a regular season for the 16-time league champions. It was also the franchise’s worst winning percentage since 1957/58 when they were the Minneapolis Lakers.
Scott becomes the fifth head coach for the Lakers in a little over three years. Phil Jackson left the post following the 2010/11 campaign. Mike Brown and interim boss Bernie Bickerstaff also had stints with the club before D’Antoni arrived on the scene. D’Antoni then resigned earlier this year after less than two years in charge and posting a 67-87 record. Scott has 13 years of NBA head-coaching experience with a career record of 416-521.
He guided New Jersey to consecutive Eastern Conference titles in 2002 and 2003, but lost in the Finals both times. Overall. He’s won three divisional championships and in 2008 Scott was honored as the league’s coach of the year. However, he’s also been fired from each one of his three head-coaching jobs. The Lakers were also interested in several other candidates such as George Karl and Lionel Hollins, but Scott apparently impressed the Lakers’ owners and GM the most.
The Lakers have tried to improve during the offseason and drafted power forward Julius Randle from Kentucky with the seventh overall choice. They haven’t been successful in signing any high-impact free agents though even though they hoped on landing LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony. In addition, Pau Gasol left the team for the Chicago Bulls after spending the last seven years in with Los Angeles. The Lakers did manage to acquire point guard Jeremy Lin, center Ed Davis and power forward Carlos Boozer during the summer.
The 53-year-old Scott, of Inglewood, California, originally joined the Lakers’ organization in 1983 when he was drafted with the fourth-overall pick. The Lakers received the draft choice from the San Diego Clippers in a trade that saw Norm Nixon head the other way.