As one of the first two head coaching candidates to interview with the Los Angeles Lakers, Byron Scott recently talked about what needs to take place if he’s hired as Mike D’Antoni’s successor.
It seems as though Scott’s priority if hired is to talk to Kobe Bryant about the future of the franchise. Scott is known for having a close relationship with Kobe and that should make for a somewhat smooth transition, but the former Coach of the Year said that Kobe will need to change things up a bit in an appearance on 710 ESPN:
“Obviously, if I get the job, the first conversation with Kobe. We have to talk about the future of the Los Angles Lakers. We have to also talk about the type of direction we’re going to be taking and also talk about the type of game that he’s going to be playing, because he’s going to have to change his game a little bit, and I think he knows that. We’ve got to sit down and talk about the minutes and things like that. We’ve just got to come to an agreement. But he knows me. I’m an old-school type guy, old-school type guy. And I want him to understand that, and I think he does understand that. We communicate during the summer by text, and every now and then, I’ll run into him somewhere and we’ll talk a little bit more about basketball. But I think the biggest thing is, No. 1, I respect the hell out of Kobe, and I think he respects me. That’s the first hurdle you’ve got to get past, and then other things, we’ll solve all those little issues.”
Recently, GM Mitch Kupchak spoke to the media about the search for a new head coach and what the team will be looking forward in the coming weeks. Kupchak made it clear that the next coach they bring in must get the most productivity out of Kobe.
The superstar signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension with the team back in November signifying the Lakers’ intention to keep him in purple and gold until he calls it a career. With such a huge investment in an aging superstar coming off consecutive season-ending injuries, it comes as no surprise that the team would want the next head coach to get everything Kobe’s got left and use him the right way in the twilight of his career.
Scott will more than likely be near the top of the list for the job once the team has narrowed down the candidates. With Mike Brown and D’Antoni failing to live up to expectations in the post Phil Jackson era, the success of the next head coach will weigh heavy on the futures of Kupchak and Jim Buss in Los Angeles.
Buss has already said that if he’s unable to turn things around in three to four years that he’ll step down. If the next coach fails to get the team back to playoff contender status, Buss will continue to be on the hot seat with his self-imposed deadline for righting the ship.
Lakers GM Kupchak Says Next Coach Must Get Most Productivity Out Of Kobe Bryant, Plus Likelihood Of Trading The Pick?