BREAKING: Lakers Hire Byron Scott As New Head Coach

UPDATE (7:22 PM PST): According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Lakers have officially signed new head coach Byron Scott and a press conference will be on Tuesday at 11 AM:

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The Los Angeles Lakers took their time in their process of selecting a new head coach, interviewing a number of different candidates, all of whom brought something different to the table. In the end, the team decided on a familiar face to Lakers fans, hiring Byron Scott as the new head coach according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:

Scott was one of the first people to be linked to this job when Mike D’Antoni resigned as coach in April, and was the only candidate to interview with the Lakers three times. He spent 11 seasons with the Lakers during his playing career and has experienced varying levels of success as a head coach.

According to Shelburne, Scott’s deal is for four years:

Scott’s deal with the Lakers also has a team option in the fourth year, according to Shelburne:

Scott led the then New Jersey Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003, and was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2008 as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets. His most recent coaching stint was a failure, however, as he took the Cleveland Cavaliers job just days before Lebron James left for Miami.

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Nevertheless, Scott is known as a player’s coach, maintaining excellent relationships with his former players such as Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, the latter being very hurt when Scott was fired in Cleveland.

Scott also has an excellent relationship with Kobe Bryant. The two talk relatively often, and his relationship with Bryant was one of the biggest things Scott had going in his favor. Kupchak had said that they wanted a coach who can get the most out of Kobe, Scott should be able to do so.

Scott will bring a much different approach than his predecessor, focusing on defense much more than D’Antoni. Overall, Scott has a career coaching record of 416-521, making four playoff appearances.
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