Last worked as:
Pundit for TWC Sportsnet LA
Greatest achievement as coach:
Finals runners up with New Jersey Nets (02,03)
Greatest achievement as player:
Three time NBA champion with Lakers (85,87,88)
Why he’s a good fit:
He is the “perfect guy for this job” – in his own opinion at least. He certainly looks the part.
A former Los Angeles Laker himself, he moved into coaching after learning from the likes of Lakers ‘showtime’ legend Pat Riley as well as Mike Dunleavy Sr at Indiana. He even played briefly with a young Kobe Bryant between ’96 and ’97 and boasts that his strong relationship with him will help persuade the black mamba to “change his game”. Crucially he’s had experience dealing with strong willed superstar guards, Chris Paul and Jason Kidd – though the relationship with the latter was strained.
Why he’s not:
His success has come at teams with an elite point guard to initiate the offense. Steve Nash at his age can’t be that guy anymore, at least not on a consistent basis. It remains to be seen if he is adaptable enough to coach a team that may have trouble creating good shots in a half court set outside of Kobe.
While the Lakers didn’t have much trouble scoring this season, they were playing under Mike D’Antoni who had his team play at a breakneck speed and gave licence to his shooters to shoot on site. In contrast, Byron Scott’s most successful teams, the 2001-2003 Nets and the 2007-2008 New Orleans Hornets never featured amongst the highest scoring teams in the league. Also, he presided over the worse NBA playoff loss since 1956.
Quirky, but slightly relevant:
Byron Scott along with studio partner James Worthy had some fun at Lakers shooting guard Nick Young's expense by imitating his speaking style. This could get interesting if Scott gets the coaching gig then…