Can Byron Scott Turn the Los Angeles Lakers’ Fortunes Around?

After nearly three months without a head coach, the Los Angeles Lakers finally did what everybody has long expected—they named Byron Scott as their new sideline leader.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne first reported the deal Saturday:

Scott was one of the first candidates interviewed and ultimately became something of a last man standing, as other contenders moved on to other opportunities and the Lakers became the lone NBA team to remain coachless. That's all in the past now as Scott returns to L.A. to take over a proud franchise that has struggled in recent years.

The third Lakers head coach in the past four seasons will take over a rather odd assortment of basketball talent—a team rebuilding for the future while still fronted by NBA veterans, including Kobe Bryant, the chronically injured Steve Nash and the recently acquired Carlos Boozer.

Running herd on a collection of stars at the end of their careers and young talents with their best years ahead of them will be a complicated task. Scott has demonstrated an ability over the years to connect to players individually. On the other hand, he has also shown inconsistency at a broader level—his lifetime .444 win percentage as a coach leaves something to be desired.

At his best, Scott went to the NBA Finals twice as a coach of the New Jersey Nets—losing to the Lakers in 2002 and the San Antonio Spurs the following season. Other accomplishments include being named Coach of the Year in 2008 with the New Orleans Hornets.

More recently, however, he failed to make the playoffs during three seasons coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers, compiling a 64-166 record. Also included in that debacle was a 26-game losing streak during the 2010-11 season, a low matched only by the Philadelphia 76ers last season.

Scott now comes full circle to Los Angeles, where his NBA journey began as a starting guard for the Lakers for a ful...

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