Who Should Replace Mike D’Antoni?

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200px-LA_Lakers_logo.svgWith Mike D’Antoni quitting, the Los Angeles Lakers are once again starting from the drawing board.

To those keeping score, the Lakers have hired – and ran off – two coaches (Mike Brown and D’Antoni) since 2011.  The Lakers are going to hire their third head coach in four seasons.  That is Clpper-like, not Laker-like.  And I blame team owner Jim Buss for running this once-proud franchise into the ground.

Now that D’Antoni ended his tenure in LA on his own terms (well, SORT OF…), who should be the next head coach?  I’ve heard that Kentucky’s John Calipari and UConn’s Kevin Ollie were the hot names to replace D’Antoni.  Both of those dudes are capable, but there is no way in hell a professional basketball player would listen to a college coach not named Mike Krzyzewski.

Here is my short list of coaches capable of leading the Lakers back to the promised land:

  1. Byron Scott
  2. Brian Shaw
  3. Kurt Rambis
  4. Jim Clemons

All of those dudes of one thing in common: they have either played for or coached the Lakers during their championship years.  Of those guys, I think Byron Scott is the best candidate.  Scott played for and coached under the legendary Pat Riley.  He witnessed greatness while playing alongside Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy during the glory years of the 1980s.  Scott respects the Laker organization and its tradition of excellence, and will not be afraid of the the bright lights of LA.

And most importantly, Scott has Kobe’s respect and admiration.

While Shaw also won titles as a player under Phil Jackson – and has Kobe’s respect as well – he is currently under contract with the Denver Nuggets and the Lakers would have to pay a pretty price to acquire him from Denver.  That alone would give Scott the edge over Shaw.

Either way, both Scott and Shaw would be considered HUGE upgrades over the forced out – ERRRRR, the “resigning” D’Antoni…

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