Los Angeles Lakers have fired coach Byron Scott after registering the worst record in franchise history for two consecutive seasons, under the leadership of the former showtime Laker. According to ESPN’s Stephen A Smith, Scott was fired late on Sunday evening.
During his exit press conference, Scott revealed that he “expected to stay” as Lakers coach despite finishing with records of 17-65 and 21-61 in his two seasons at the helm. According to ESPN, “Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and Lakers part-owner and executive VP Jim Buss (have) planned to have an “informal lunch” with Scott.”’
Next Coach: Walton or Ollie?
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Lakers have shortlisted a few candidates to replace Byron Scott. “Possible candidates to replace Scott could include Golden State assistant Luke Walton, former Rockets and Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, UConn coach Kevin Ollie and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina.”
Wojnarowski further reported that high-profile coaches such as Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks – who recently agreed to new coaching deals with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards respectively – had interest in coaching the young Lakers squad. “The Lakers move into the coaching market after two prominent coaches who had interest in Los Angeles – Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks – accepted new jobs in recent days.”
According to ESPN’ Ramona Shelburne, “among the candidates the Lakers will look at are Luke Walton, Kevin Ollie and Jay Wright.”
Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers general manager, released a statement to thank Scott for his efforts. “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,” said Kupchak.
Last week, Byron Scott said that the just-concluded season was all about Kobe Bryant and hampered the development of the young core. “Guys that know me know I’m not happy with the way we played as a basketball team. I think we could have been a lot better if we had really honed in on some of the things we needed to hone in on early. But that’s kind of the price you’ve got to pay with young guys, too. It takes some young guys a bit longer to develop, but the bottom line is the record, and that’s what you judge guys by.”
However, it seems like the Lakers front office has realized that Byron Scott isn’t the right person to coach a team loaded with youngsters.
The Los Angeles Lakers have fired coach Byron Scott, league sources tell @TheVertical
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) April 25, 2016