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Lakers make it official — finally — and hire Byron Scott as head coach

Jul 28, 2014, 10:51 PM EDT

Byron Scott

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

The Lakers fired Mike D’Antoni way back on April 30 and took longer than any other team to get around to picking a new head coach. The Lakers have said they want to find their next star player (they struck out on Carmelo Anthony this summer) then figure out what style of team to build around him. Which makes it hard to settle on a coach because they are all about style and systems.

But they finally made official what everyone else has known for days and chosen the guy who had been the front runner since May 1 — Byron Scott.

“After an extensive and thorough search, we’re proud to welcome Byron back to the Lakers family as our next head coach,” Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said in a released statement. “Byron has proven himself at the highest levels of the game as both a player and a coach in his almost 30 years of NBA experience. His leadership skills and track record for success make him the ideal person to lead this franchise forward.”

“I am ecstatic to once again be a Laker and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mitch and the Buss family,” said Scott in a statement. “I know firsthand what it takes to bring a championship to this city, and as someone who both grew up in L.A. and played the majority of my career here, I know how passionate and dedicated our fans are. I will give everything I have to fulfill the championship expectations that our supporters have for us, and that we have for ourselves.”

This is reportedly a four-year, $17 million deal with the last year being a team option (keep the buyout years down in case they figure out a style and it’s not Scott’s).

This is a dream come true for Scott, who was born in the Los Angeles area and won three rings as a member of the Showtime Lakers in his 11 years with the team. He believes in the Lakers brand and he can sell that to the players — and the Lakers will sell the “return to family aspect.”

Scott coached the Jason Kidd-led New Jersey Nets and was named Coach of the Year in 2008 while leading Chris Paul’s Hornets. Yet he has struggled with player development and defense in his last two stops (despite what he is preaching).

For the Lakers, this is a hire they can sell but one that feels like a placeholder until they get their star player and pick a direction. Whenever that happens. In the mean time enjoy Kobe Bryant’s last couple years and the coaching stylings of Byron Scott.

  1. mackcarrington - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    From my understanding, Byron was on vacation out of the country when the hiring was first announced. Perhaps that was why there was some confusion initially.

  2. balsagna - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Byron Scott and Mike Brown? Do you really want to he hiring coaches formerly fired by the Cavs? I mean even the Cavs tried that and failed.

  3. chargerdillon - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    As a life long Lakers fan I currently question why I am still a life long Lakers fan.

    Thankfully I’m also a huge NBA fan and there’s tons of awesome basketball being played even in LA….just not by the Lakers.

    While I’ll always be optimistic for my team the reality is no big free agents wanted to touch this.

    Since the Lakers really don’t count right now, I’m super excited for the Cavs and whats going on in the East. The West is still a 2 team show, Thunder and Spurs. I’ll take the Clippers seriously when they cannot be crippled by outside distractions.

    Let the Lakers suckfest continue. Enjoy it folks we will return!

    • casualcommenter - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:35 AM

      “As a life long Lakers fan I currently question why I am still a life long Lakers fan.”

      You’ve been posting here for the past year saying you’re done being a Laker fan because it’s “just so hard to keep rooting for them.”

      The Lakers have won 5 championships with 7 Finals appearances in the past 14 years, averaging one Finals appearance every 2 years. Nobody has any sympathy for completely fake “lifelong” Laker fans who lose interest in the franchise just because they’ve gone 4 seasons in a row without winning a title (but still making the playoffs in 3 of them).

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:08 AM

        Fakest frontrunner “fan” ever. He’s one of those guys that gives us real Laker fans a horrible rap.

        Dude don’t know struggle, I’ve been a Raider (and Texan) fan forever. I’m 31 now and I’ve gone close to my entire adult life sucking hard in football. Every year it’s the same thing, we’re crap with no direction and you know what?….It’s STILL go Raiders!!! Eff Chargers!

      • k3nn3k - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        Oh you’re a raider fan, that explains why you don’t make sense most of the time! I get it now. #boltup

      • chargerdillon - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        I guess what you’re trying to say is….I’m spoiled.

        I’m sorry I’m also too realistic for you in that I have greater expectations for the Lakers.

        Keep in mind I’m also a Chargers fan, so I equally share a lifetime of disappointment with the success the Lakers have had.

        It amazes me how even when fans are honest about their team, jealous loser-fans like you have to come out of the woodwork to tell everybody how much of a better fan you are because your teams constantly suck. I’m sorry you feel that way.

        If you went from Jerry Buss to Jim Buss, I promise you, you’d start having doubts about your franchise too.

      • spthegr8 - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        @Charger
        I think that is Malt’s point. We ALL went from Jerry to Jimbo &, the majority of us are unhappy with Jimbo but, we stick with our team regardless cuz that is what real fans do. ( Not saying you are not a real fan ) IJS!!!

    • blogsk3tball - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:00 AM

      The West is much more than a two team show, and East could be considered a 6 Horse race – although none of them will be winning the championship (Except maybe the Bulls, if Rose is Healthy).

      We have had one poor season, after Kobe had a career season with some memorable games in the last 10 games of the season. The HUGE games against Portland and New Orleans come to mind.

      If you find yourself questioning your fan ship after we traded for both Chris Paul & Dwight Howard in consecutive years… Then maybe you aren’t really a fan.

      We stuffed up on Phil. Thats Jim’s ego. Unfortunately its not a mistake that can be repaired quickly with a quick cover up hire.

      As a Life Long Laker Fan – I will NEVER find myself rooting for LeBron or the Cavs

  4. jimthebuilder27 - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    Awful coaching hire. He’s a very overrated coach. So what if he played with Magic and Kareem? He was good with a weak East and had some initial success in Nee Orleans but showed he’s not a great coach.

    At least the Lakers won’t be contending for a title, otherwise this hire would be even worse.

  5. lakerade - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Byron banked on Kidd. Won.
    Then on CP3. Won?
    Then on LeBron. Lost. Which meant banking on Kyrie. Lost.
    Now on Kobe. Go Lakers!

    • im2gr84u2h8on - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      Byron will also bank on Lin and win. Win with Lin! Win with Lin!

  6. 00maltliquor - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:38 AM

    Welcome home Byron!

    I wanted Byron back before they hired Mike Brown. 3 coaches in a row that were former Coach of the Year. Hopefully this one works out!!

  7. fordmandalay - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Let the Swaggy P era begin!

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