The Los Angeles Lakers practice facility was filled with surprise guests for Byron Scott’s introductory press conference as the new head coach of the Lakers on Tuesday. Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamaal Wilkes were quite the impressive backdrop to Scott’s introduction. With members of the Showtime era surrounding him, it was the perfect way to usher in a new (and hopefully successful) era of Lakers basketball.
The Lakers decided it was both best to stay within the Lakers family and take their time with their search, after two unsuccessful coaching hires. Drama surrounded the hiring of Mike D’Antoni back in 2012, mostly because of the perception that the Lakers had chosen D’Antoni over the great Phil Jackson. Jackson, at the time, was uncertain that he would return to coaching, and wasn’t prepared to give the Lakers an immediate decision.
It appears there’s a bit more to the story of the Lakers coaching search in 2012. According to Magic Johnson, Dr. Buss wanted to make Scott the coach of the Lakers, before Scott decided to take the head coaching job in Cleveland.
This is a great day for Dr. Buss, even though he’s not here,” Johnson told a group of reporters after Scott’s press conference. “We (Johnson and Dr. Buss) were in the suite, he called me up there and he said Earvin, ‘I would love, I think for Byron to coach this team one day,’
I haven’t even told him (Byron) this yet.
And, Dr. Buss was going to make Byron the coach when Phil didn’t know what he was going to do. But, Byron took the Cleveland job and he took it too early and I called him and said B, you took the job too early, Dr. Buss wanted you to be the coach!”
If Magic’s account is accurate, it looks like things ultimately worked out just how Dr. Buss would’ve wanted it. A little late, but what’s that saying? Better late than never.
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