LA Lakers Brass Still Can’t See Obvious Path Forward After Byron Scott Firing

LOS ANGELES — There was a temptation for Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak to keep Byron Scott on as head coach. At least it would've projected some semblance of stability for the proud Los Angeles Lakers.

Ultimately, there were too many voices howling that Scott was just not good enough at his job.

Here's what one person inside the organization—one whose voice was among those criticizing Scott as a fail—texted in the aftermath of the decision Sunday to let Scott go:

"What a mess."

See, even with this wholly logical choice not to exercise a team contract option to move forward with Scott's antiquated ideas, nothing is solved.

The Lakers remain confused about what to do—and who they should be.

Buss and Kupchak weren't sure what to do with Scott, but there's uncertainty everywhere.

Team president Jeanie Buss isn't sure what to do about her brother Jim, head of basketball operations, and Kupchak, the team's general manager—all while her fiance, Phil Jackson, remains very much a possibility to join the Lakers front office next year.

And no one is sure what to do about life after Kobe Bryant. That's why they put off dealing with that reality as long as possible.

Who might come in free agency to save the day? They don't know.

It is a mess, and it probably was destined to be a mess transitioning from a visionary leader and decision-maker such as Jerry Buss, operating from an NBA playbook he'd mastered, to a new leadership group unequipped to anticipate a changing NBA landscape.

What Scott's departure creates, though, is a unique possibility for the fragmented Lakers to rally behind one fresh, familiar face: Luke Walton.

There haven't been many easy decisions for the club since Buss' death in 2013. So far, L.A. is determined to make this one more difficult than it needs to be.

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