The biggest question regarding the Lakers’ decision to part ways with head coach Byron Scott isn’t whether or not he deserved to get fired, but rather, why the franchise waited until Sunday night to do so, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post writes. The decision should have been made at the end of the regular season and not after two of the top names came off the board in Tom Thibodeau (Timberwolves) and Scott Brooks (Wizards), Bontemps opines. Bontemps does note that Thibodeau may not have been a good fit given his desire for personnel control, something the Lakers aren’t currently willing to hand over to a new coach, the scribe adds.
Here’s more regarding the Lakers and Scott:
- Scott was essentially fired for following the organization’s unofficial directive to focus on the Kobe Bryant farewell tour this season and to secure a top three pick in the draft, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops writes. The scribe also believes it’s surprising that GM Mitch Kupchak has been able to retain his post given the team’s struggles.
- The Lakers will also look to the college ranks in the search for a new head coach, and while Kentucky’s John Calipari is an intriguing possibility, the organization isn’t 100% sold on him being a good fit, tweets Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times.
- Despite the Lakers’ rough 2015/16 campaign, Scott had advocates within the organization who pointed to the difficulties involved with managing Bryant’s final season and the late-season progress the former coach had made in relating to the team’s younger players, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. The USA Today scribe also notes that primary owner Jeanie Buss, reportedly one of those advocates, wasn’t involved in the decision to fire Scott, as she deferred instead to team executive Jim Buss and Kupchak on the matter.
- One Lakers player told Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News that he wasn’t shocked the team fired the coach and that a “fresh start could be good” (Twitter link).
- Two available names whom the Lakers should consider when searching for their next head coach are former Houston coach Kevin McHale and Thunder assistant Monty Williams, writes Mark Whicker of The Orange County Register. McHale’s stock has only risen since being fired by the Rockets this season, given their subsequent struggles in his absence, while Williams’ calm and steady demeanor would be a benefit to the franchise’s younger players, Whicker opines.
- One option for the Lakers is to wait to hire a new coach until July, which would allow big-name free agent player targets to have input, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. The disadvantage to such a strategy would be the risk of missing out on other top candidates, given that the Kings and Knicks are still in the hunt for new head coaches, Kennedy adds.