The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off they’re worst season ever as an organization. Someone has to take the hit for that (even if it’s one of their own) and that someone has unsurprisingly to himself turned out to be head coach Byron Scott. The former Lakers guard from the 80’s and early 90’s had said publicly just a few weeks ago that he thought he would be back for another season. The Lakers are setting themselves up for a strong run at potential free agents this summer. So, they want to have the right man to lead the way in place. Makes a lot of sense. Scott, compiled an extremely shaky 38-131 record. The worse stretch have ever for a proud Lakers franchise that’s used to competing for and winning championships. The only highlight of this season was of course the Kobe Bryant farewell tour. No word if Kobe will consult in anyway on who is hired as the next coach.
As for a potential successor. Warriors’ assistant coach and former Laker Luke Walton will almost certainly be a candidate. At least he should be anyway after leading the Warriors to an undefeated record for half of the season while Steve Kerr was out due to surgery. Then, there’s Jeff Van Gundy, who’s also being mentioned for the Houston Rockets probable opening. Van Gundy’s partner in the ESPN booth, Mark Jackson may also be mentioned. It’s anyone’s guess if we’ll see someone from the college ranks like John Calipari mentioned. And in these days and times of the NBA, it wouldn’t be right to not include a San Antonio Spurs assistant or Greg Popovich descendant.
Whomever gets the job could be moving into a good position if the Lakers have as much success as they’re predicting for themselves in free agency. A couple of top-level free agents to go with their young core of Jordan Clarkson, Deangelo Russell, and Julius Randle should make things easier. Could we possibly see Phil Jackson make a return to the Lakers organization in a front office position? Probably not. But the possibility makes for more chatter. Nevertheless, this is the most important off-season the Lakers have ever had. First for having to replace Kobe Bryant, then for going after potential free agents this summer, and now for having to replace their head coach. Should be a very interesting summer for LakerNation.