Lakers primary owner Jeanie Buss essentially confirmed the report from USA Today’s Sam Amick that she wasn’t involved in the decision to fire Byron Scott, saying in an appearance on FS1’s “The Herd” show that she didn’t know such a move was coming, nor did she anticipate it taking place, as Kristine Leahy of FS1 tweets. Buss was reportedly advocating behind the scenes for the front office to retain Scott, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported earlier this month. Still, she expressed support for brother Jim Buss, the team’s executive VP of basketball operations and reportedly one of the decision makers regarding Scott’s fate, as he faces a deadline to turn the team around within the year, tweets Serena Winters of Lakers Nation. “I have no reason to think that he cannot be successful in terms of putting together a winning team,” Jeanie Buss said.
See more on the Lakers amid the latest coaching rumors around the league:
- People around the league feel that Warriors assistant Luke Walton is a favorite for the Lakers job, notes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, but the Lakers are uncertain about Walton’s relative youth and just how well the 36-year-old would perform as a full-time head coach, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Regardless, the Lakers appear to be making the ability to recruit free agents their top priority in a new coach, a league source told Deveney, and Kupchak said Monday on Time Warner Cable Access SportsNet that they’d like to make a hire before the June 23rd draft, as Medina relays.
- New Timberwolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau would have accepted a coaching job without player personnel control on the Knicks, as Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com hears. However, the Knicks got the impression the opposite was true, and team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills didn’t feel they’d get along with Thibs, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. Owner James Dolan was nonetheless intrigued with the former Coach of the Year, league sources told Begley. Jackson is still leaning toward removing the interim tag from the head coaching title of Kurt Rambis, Berman writes in the same piece.