Byron Scott: I’m the perfect guy for Lakers job; Kobe Bryant has to change his game
Byron Scott believes he is the right man to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. The former Cleveland Cavaliers coach said as much during an interview with ESPN LA 710 this week, claiming he would be a “great fit” with the Lakers partly because of his relationship with Kobe Bryant.
“I am the perfect guy for this job,” Scott said, as transcribed by Pro Basketball Talk. “I’ve got a great relationship with Kobe. I know the team, know the roster, watched them all season long. And I just think it would be a great fit.”
The Lakers are coming off one of their worst seasons in team history. They won just 27 games under Mike D’Antoni, who was a lame duck for most of the year. Scott found no success in three years with the Cavs and was fired during the 2012-2013 season. His coaching resume is not impressive, so an endorsement from Kobe might be his best bet.
How comfortable does Scott feel with Kobe? Comfortable enough to talk about how Bryant will have to change his game going forward.
“Obviously, if I get the job, the first conversation with Kobe,” Scott said. “We have to talk about the future of the Los Angles Lakers. We have to also talk about the type of direction we’re going to be taking and also talk about the type of game that he’s going to be playing, because he’s going to have to change his game a little bit, and I think he knows that.
“We’ve got to sit down and talk about the minutes and things like that. We’ve just got to come to an agreement. But he knows me. I’m an old-school type guy, old-school type guy. … But I think the biggest thing is, No. 1, I respect the hell out of Kobe, and I think he respects me. That’s the first hurdle you’ve got to get past, and then other things, we’ll solve all those little issues.”
Kobe has dealt with some issues of mortality over the past year or so. He battled back from an Achilles injury only to suffer another serious injury and appear in just six games this past season. There’s no way he’ll ever be the player he once was, and Scott understands that. Getting Kobe to understand that could be more of a challenge. Whether or not Scott is the man to handle that challenge is for the Lakers to decide.