LA Lakers Coaching Candidates Whom Kobe Bryant Would Most Want

Whether you agree with the decision to pay L.A. Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant close to $50 million or think the team totally overpaid is irrelevant.  The investment was made and, right or wrong, he's their leader for the next two years and should have a say in who the team hires to be its next head coach.

As of today, the front-runner appears to be Byron Scott, although stranger things have happened in Lakers Nation. Just think back to 2012 and how the team passed over Phil Jackson in favor of Mike D'Antoni and the seven-second offense.

The veteran Scott mentored Bryant in 1996-97, when Kobe was a rookie, and the two have built a close friendship over the past 18 years.

From Chris Broussard of

While Scott is a clear front-runner, sources said talks have not escalated to the point where the sides are discussing contractual terms. Scott, a former longtime Laker who played with Kobe Bryant during Bryant's rookie season, has spoken with Bryant several times throughout the Lakers' coaching search.

From his perspective, Scott feels he is the perfect candidate for the job.  Interviewed by Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on ESPN 710:  

Obviously, if I get the job, the first conversation I have is with Kobe.  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.  I’m an old-school type guy.  And I want him to understand that, and I think he does understand that. 

As a coach, Scott has had success.  He led the New Jersey Nets to two straight NBA Finals (2002, 2003), before losing to the San Antonio Spurs and the Lakers, respectively.  He was, however, fired one year ...

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