TUESDAY, 8:08am: Scott and Kobe Bryant have been engaging in conversations on “coach/player terms,” while Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Michael Cooper, a few of Scott’s former Lakers teammates, are pushing the Buss family to hire him, tweets Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
MONDAY, 12:41pm: Byron Scott has become the front-runner in the race for the Lakers head coaching job, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Shelburne also identifies Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy and Alvin Gentry as serious candidates. The inclusion of Gentry on that list is curious, since he’s agreed to leave his job as a Clippers assistant coach for an assistant’s job with the Warriors.
Scott has interviewed three times for the position, according to Shelburne. The Lakers have had at least one interview with Hollins, Dunleavy and Gentry, too, and they’ve also spoken with Kurt Rambis, whom Howard Beck of Bleacher Report listed as one of three favorites for the job about two weeks ago.
The 53-year-old Scott took this past season off from coaching after the Cavs fired him last year. It was the first time since the Nets hired him in 2000 that he hasn’t spent at least part of the season as the head coach of an NBA team. He’s 416-521 overall with the Nets, Pelicans (then Hornets) and Cavs, but he was the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2008 with New Orleans.
The Lakers are the only team without a head coach at this point, and while they appear poised to go through the draft and the start of free agency without one, they like the idea of waiting to see what potential signees are looking for in a coach, Shelburne tweets. Scott and the others still in the mix aren’t necessarily the only ones who’ll get consideration for the job as the Lakers remain open to other candidates, Shelburne adds (Twitter link).