POSTED: Apr 25, 2016 12:40 AM ET
After going 38-126 in two seasons at the helm, Lakers head coach Byron Scott will no longer roam the sidelines at Staples Center.
The Los Angeles Lakers, looking to rebuild and move on from the Kobe Bryant era, fired coach Byron Scott on Sunday night after two struggling seasons.
"We would like to thank Byron for his hard work, dedication and loyalty over the last two years, but have decided it is in the best interest of the organization to make a change at this time," General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement announcing that Scott's option for the 2016-17 season would not be picked up. The team said the search for a new coach would begin immediately.
The move was not surprising, given Scott's record (38-126) with the Lakers, and his struggles getting consistent growth and production out of the team's young players. Scott had a contentious relationship with the team's first-round pick this year, guard D'Angelo Russell, and also ran hot and cold with the Lakers' 2014 first-rounder, Julius Randle. Scott insisted that the young players display discipline and earn minutes rather than have them handed to him.
But Scott's main job this season was helping Bryant get through his 20th and final NBA year healthy and without the injuries that had prematurely ended each of Bryant's previous three seasons. And Scott did that, as Bryant was able to be celebrated throughout the league at venue after venue.
Immediate speculation will center on Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, who won two championships as a player with the Lakers, and who led Golden State to a 24-0 start this season while head coach Steve Kerr recovered from offseason back surgeries. (Because of league rules, Kerr was still credited with those wins.) Walton is still well-liked within the Lakers' organization.
But the Lakers, despite their struggles in recent years, are still one of the NBA's marquee franchises. With more than $40 million in potential cap room available next summer as well, and the potential of a top three Lottery pick, they'll be able to pick from among just about everyone available in the pros and in college basketball to take over and coach Russell, Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr.
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