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Byron Scott gets second interview with Lakers

Byron-ScottByron Scott said last month that he believes he is the perfect man for the Los Angeles Lakers coaching job, largely because of his close relationship with Kobe Bryant. The team may agree with him.

The Lakers began their second round of coaching interviews on Tuesday by speaking to Scott for a second time. The LA Times reports that he is the first person to get a second meeting with the team since their coaching search began over a month ago.

Scott, who has had very little success as a head coach in the NBA, played for the Lakers during their “Showtime” years from 1983 to 1993. The Lakers have already interviewed Mike Dunleavy, Kurt Rambis, George Karl, Lionel Hollins and Alvin Gentry. Rambis is set to become an assistant coach for Derek Fisher with the New York Knicks.

Of all the candidates the Lakers have interviewed, Scott might make the most sense. He can probably coexist with Kobe and we doubt LA would be able to make much of a pitch to someone like Carmelo Anthony with an old-school coach like Dunleavy or someone he already played for like Karl.

A recent report indicated that the Lakers are dragging their heels with their coaching search in order to give big-name free agents like Carmelo and LeBron James an opportunity to basically select their own coach. If that’s the case, it could be a while before they make a final decision.

Byron Scott: I’m the perfect guy for Lakers job; Kobe Bryant has to change his game

Byron-ScottByron 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.

Byron Scott Meets with Kyrie Irving to Discuss Rookie’s Poor Defense

Kyrie Irving seems to be living up to his status as the top overall draft pick, but the rookie point guard’s poor defense has been a concern for Cavs head coach Byron Scott the entire season. Kyrie’s defense was so bad Friday against the Bulls (who were playing without MVP Derrick Rose), that the coach had a meeting with his point guard Saturday.

“If you can’t get stops it doesn’t matter what you are doing offensively because sooner or later you’re going to cool down,” Scott said.

“You know like he says the turnovers start with him? nThe defense starts with him as well,” the Cavs coach explained. “He’s the head of the snake and I know it’s a lot of responsibility for a 19-year-old but it is what it is and he’s got to do a better job and he’s aware of it.”

Scott said the defensive lapses have kept Irving, who’s averaging 27.9 minutes per game, from playing more. The former Duke point guard is taking the criticism quite well.

“He’s a defensive-minded coach and he was a defensive-minded player,” Irving said. “I kind of appreciate him giving it to me like that because I do have to get better. It’s all about what my man is doing. I take full responsibility for it.”

It’s the right attitude to have, but now Irving needs to take the important step of improving on defense. He’s only 19 years old, so he has plenty of time to get better.

Chest bump to Eye on Basketball