April 17, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott talks to the referee during the game at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Smart Move? Kobe Endorses Byron Scott For Head Coach

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In his annual press conference from his basketball camp at UCSB, Kobe Bryant endorsed Byron Scott for the Lakers head coaching position. Bryant, who came into the league in 1996 when Scott was still a member of the Lakers, would like to see Scott get the Lakers job and be the coach who escorts him out of his playing days, hopefully with a 6th championship.

Kobe and Scott have been close since 1996 when Bryant joined the team out of high school. According to Bryant, Scott and him possess a “tremendously close relationship”. There is no doubt that Kobe could see himself playing for Scott and believes that he would be an excellent candidate for the job.

Scott has been the coach of the New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, and Cleveland Cavaliers over the course of his career. He led the New Jersey Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals, both of which they lost in four games. Scott has a career record of 416-521 (.444%) and was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2008 as coach of the Hornets. Scott is also a 3x NBA Champion for the Lakers, having won in 1985, 1987, and 1988 with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy.

There is no doubt that Scott has had success as a coach in the NBA. He has succeeded in the league when he has had All-Star caliber point guards such as Jason Kidd and Chris Paul. The Lakers will likely bring in a PG of his choosing should Scott get hired as head coach.

Names like Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas are available via restricted and unrestricted free agency. Other names like Goran Dragic and Rajon Rondo are on the trade market. Scott would undoubtedly love to get his hands on any of those players.

The Lakers are the only team in the NBA currently without a head coach, meaning they have the world at their fingertips but not a lot of buttons to press. Sure, they could go pick up a Mike Dunleavy or George Karl. While both are fine head coaches, they don’t do much for you long term. You would have to believe that Byron Scott, with his Laker ties and support from Bryant, is the absolute frontrunner for this position and will be hired at some point in the next two weeks.

Is it a smart move?

Well, that’s to be seen. There are questions about whether or not Scott can hold a team together for more than a couple of years. He has famously lost the locker room in each of his past three stops in the NBA. The Lakers are going to need to establish a strong locker room around Scott if he is to succeed in the long run in Los Angeles. With Kobe Bryant in tow, it should be strong enough for now. But what about two years from now? We simply don’t know where the Lakers will be in 24 months. Not even number 24.

Of course, until Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their free agency decisions there will be no movement on this front or any other front. The Lakers front office is completely content to stay in a holding pattern until the big dominos fall.

Kobe may be in full support of Scott, and the Lakers management may be in also. But until Anthony and James sign on the dotted line nothing is getting done.

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