At this point in time, the consensus seems to be that Byron Scott will be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. If the Scott does end up being Mike D’Antoni’s successor, he’ll be the first coach of the team that has actually played with Kobe Bryant.
In the video above, Scott talks about playing with Kobe during the 1996-97 NBA season and how he knew the rookie was going to be something special. Scott mentions Kobe shooting around at the Great Western Forum with the lights off and being impressed by his drive to improve at such an early age.
Kobe and Scott played together in Los Angeles at completely different stages in their careers. Scott, 35 at the time, was on entering into his final year in the NBA returning to Los Angeles after short stints with the Indiana Pacers and Vancouver Grizzlies. An 18-year-old Kobe was a confident and somewhat cocky rookie that was handpicked by Jerry West through a trade with the Charlotte Hornets during the 1996 NBA draft.
Scott was literally double Kobe’s age and considered the “elder statesman,” as he put it, but the two created a bond continues to go strong to this day. Kobe and Scott have talked quite a bit lately about all things basketball and even though he hasn’t said it, the five-time NBA champion wanting Scott as the next head coach might be a safe assumption.
(H/T L.A. Times)
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