The Los Angeles Lakers are always about winning championships, nothing else. But their team isn’t good enough to even dream about going that far, and hiring Byron Scott is further proof that this team isn’t aiming very high yet again.
Magic Johnson has proved to us more than once how bad of analyst he is, and how a lot of what he says in the media has to do with his personal relationships with players, head coaches and team owners. Byron Scott, except for taking the New Jersey Nets to the NBA finals twice in 2002 and 2003, when some people would prefer to give most of the credit to Jason Kidd, hasn’t done much in over a decade.
He didn’t get very far with the New Orleans Hornets, another team that went up and down depending on how good their point guard was on that day. Scott might be methodical and tough with his players, but there hasn’t been much to be impressed with in terms of style or development over the last 11 years from him, which included getting fired from each of his jobs, twice in the middle of the season.
So what makes Scott the right man for the job? In the eyes of Magic Johnson and those that chose him for the position, his history with the Lakers. The fact that he got “only” $17 million on a four year deal while head coaches who have never been on an NBA sideline are getting more than that on teams that aren’t as rich and “Generous” as the Lakers says something about where he was at before the Lakers hired him.
This is a friend getting a job. Scott has done some great things as a player for the Lakers, helping them win three NBA championships. He played alongside Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy. He has the right connections.
But something extra? Some special offensive system, defensive awareness or proof of his ability to develop players, young and mature? Scott wasn’t the first and probably not even the third name on the shortlist of head coaches for the Lakers, but there are a lot more people weighing their influence and opinion on the decisions makers in Laker Land. Some of them simply wanted to see a friend running the team, and it didn’t matter that he’s not a very good head coach.