Back in 2011, the Los Angeles Lakers were forced to make a drastic change following the departure of legendary head coach Phil Jackson.
Obviously, it is never easy to replace a coach with Jackson’s resume, but the team had no choice and ultimately hired former Coach of the Year, Mike Brown.
Brown wasn’t the popular choice by any means with Brian Shaw waiting in the wings as Jackson’s protege. Shaw was thought to be the frontrunner to land the job after Jackson ended his coaching career, but Brown ended up getting hired and only lasted one full season.
Although Shaw appeared to be the frontrunner and Brown was ultimately hired, Byron Scott might’ve been the coach Dr. Jerry Buss wanted. Unfortunately, he wasn’t available at the time.
A year before Jackson stepped down as the head coach of the Lakers, Scott took over for Brown in Cleveland. If he hadn’t, Buss may have brought him in as Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding speculates:
It’s a safe assumption that Jerry Buss would have made Scott the Lakers head coach instead of Brown upon Phil Jackson’s 2011 departure if Scott, eager to get back to work a year earlier, hadn’t accepted the daunting task of coaching Brown’s old Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James about to bolt.
With Dr. Buss seemingly having a soft spot for the three-time NBA champion, the former Laker guard might have a good chance of becoming next head coach of the storied franchise. Scott has already expressed interest in the head coaching vacancy and hopes to get an interview this summer.
Although Scott may have an advantage with ties to the organization, there’s no shortage of options for the Lakers this time around. Scott is one of many viable candidates that includes George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins, Kevin Ollie, Roy Williams, Mark Jackson and Tom Thibodeau.
It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out in the Lakers search for a new leader on the sidelines, but Scott is definitely considered to be among the top candidates.
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