Turns out Kobe Bryant’s last game in the NBA was also Bryon Scott’s last night with the Lakers.
According to The Vertical, the Lakers have fired their head coach.
I’m not saying it’s the wrong decision. But I will say he was put in a near impossible position. He was supposed run the Kobe Bryant farewell tour and make sure he got the sendoff he deserved; while at the same time develop all his young players. And those two things are counterintuitive. It’s nearly impossible to do both. Especially, for an old school coach like Scott who doesn’t relate especially well to young players or their 2016 approach to minutes, shots and playing defense.
So, Byron nailed his first directive, but struggled with the second. And while it wasn’t all his fault, given that the franchise is coming off its two worst seasons ever, back to back, he really did have to go.
So I don’t question this move. But I do question the timing of it. If you’re going to fire Byron Scott, why wait this long. Do it sooner and you have a shot at Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks.
Thibs may have wanted too much power for the Lakers. Brooks may have wanted too much money. But if you’re getting rid of Byron Scott, why not make sure you have the opportunity to talk to the best candidates available to replace him. And they didn’t do that.
To me, the question isn’t who do they hire now, but when does Jeannie Buss fire her bro, Jim? Do you really trust Jim make this next hire given that his head is the next one on the chopping block. Maybe they couldn’t convince Dwight Howard to stay. Maybe they couldn’t entice LaMarcus Aldridge or any other free agent who matters the last few years. But the Lakers are still a destination. Especially for head coaches, who know they can return them to their glory years.
Give Thibodeau what he needs and what he wants and he takes that job. You don’t think California native Scott Brooks would have been interested in this job.
Critical hire. There are no do-overs here. Take a big swing, scratch a big check and get the best available candidate you can.
And Jeanie, if you have to whack your brother, go ahead and do it. Family is family, but anyone who has worked in a family business will tell you, business is business. He’ll always be your brother, but nowhere does it say, he should always run your business. Especially if he’s running into the ground.