Buss and the Lakers’ brass made a good coaching move for a change and hired Byron Scott – a former Lakers great – to coach the team. This was a lot better than the last coaching hires he made: Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni.
More importantly, Buss hired a man that Kobe Bryant WANTED. Remember when the Lakers brought in Brown? That was because Buss (and to be fair, his late father Jerry) clashed with former coach Phil Jackson and forced Jackson’s resignation after getting swept by the eventual champion Dallas Mavericks out of the second round of the 2011 Western Conference playoffs.
And how did Brown work out? He got fired five games (FIVE!) into the 2012-2013 season because he basically could not coach offense.
And remember that D’Antoni hire? That was because he was chosen over the idea of bringing Jackson back to coach, which by the way was not only an idea that Jackson was open to but was also something Bryant WANTED (again). Even with a healthy Bryant, the Lakers underachieved under D’Antoni.
So if you are keeping score, Buss rebuffed Bryant’s wishes TWICE before wising up in bringing in someone he wanted and respected. Only this time, Buss may have finally listened.
Bryant idolized Scott because of the role he played on those great Laker teams in the ’80s. Bryant also idolized Scott because he was a winner. The fact that Bryant respects and loves Scott should bode well for the Lakers, even if they are not expected to make the playoffs.
Let’s look at Scott’s track record before that disaster in LeBron-less Cleveland. He led the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals. He led the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) to a memorable playoff run that ended in a Game 7 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2008 Western Conference playoffs.
I think Scott is a good hire for the Lakers. Again, it may not translate into a playoff spot for the Lakers (look at the Lakers’ roster aside from Bryant. Jeremy Lin? An amnestied Carlos Boozer? Swaggy P? Really?), but at least Buss finally have his Lakers headed in the right direction.
And it’s about damn time.