The Los Angeles Lakers finally have Mike D’Antoni’s successor in place with the team nearing an agreement with Byron Scott to be the next head coach. Scott brings a different kind of attitude to the table in Los Angeles with more emphasis on the defensive side of the basketball floor.
Scott returned from a vacation in the Caribbean on Sunday night and told ESPN.com that he’s been talking with Kobe Bryant via text message. Kobe told Scott that he’d be working out with some of his teammates, but Scott hopes Kobe is stressing defense:
“He told me he was working out with Wesley [Johnson] and Nick [Young],” Scott said. “I told them that sounded great, but ‘they better be ready to play some defense.’ “
Under D’Antoni, the offense was clicking for the Lakers the past two seasons, but the team was awful defensively. There was so much emphasis on being dominant offensively with D’Antoni’s system that defense became secondary resulting in the Lakers being one of the worst in the league in that category.
Hopefully, Scott will be able to help turn around the storied franchise while stressing defense next season. With Kobe making the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team 12 times in his career, there’s no better player on the team to help shift priority to that side of the floor.
Heading into next season, Kobe will be 36-years-old and coming off two consecutive season-ending injuries. It is uncertain how much Kobe has left in the tank, but having a head coach that he trusts and respects running the show can only help matters moving forward.
Lakers Hire New Coach Byron Scott