If your main critique with Mike D’Antoni is that he doesn’t know what it means to be a Laker, you should look no further than Byron Scott. Not only is Scott an LA man born and bred, his 11 years and 3 rings with the Lakers give him a firm knowledge and understanding of what it means to win and how we in the City of Angels do it.
This year marks Scott’s first leave from coaching since he began the position in the 2000-2001 season with the New Jersey Nets. Whilst his coaching career PCT of .444 doesn’t scream success, he’s had to manage some pretty poor rosters, such as that of the 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers who’s “big three” (consisting of J.J. Hickson, Ramon Sessions and Antawn Jamison) was nothing short of a laughing stock.
When he’s had talent, the former Laker has been able to make his team tick. In the past, he has managed back-to-back appearences in the NBA Finals with the Nets and, also, he guided the New Orleans Hornets into the second round of the playoffs. His 2007-2008 New Orleans side captured 56 wins with Chris Paul running the point and, also, he managed to squeeze some of the best years out of Jason Kidd.
The primary misconception with Scott is that his style is solely centred around the Princeton offense. Byron’s Nets playoff teams excelled in forcing the opposition to commit turnovers and shoot bad looks whilst his Hornets teams were able to dominate the defensive boards. Although his defensive strategies haven’t shone in the past few seasons with the Cavaliers, Scott could certainly bring a fresh way of thinking to the Lakers roster and help us forget the system of “no D-D’Antoni”.
Scott has certainly coached some bad teams. Some really, really bad teams. However, the numbers sheet shouldn’t steer the organization away from hiring this Lakers alumnus. If things fall his way, he could certainly be the man to lead the Lakers back into the championship picture.