What Byron Scott’s Past Reveals About LA Lakers’ Identity for Next Season

With his first season as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers right around the corner, Byron Scott has serious work cut out for himself.

Behind a roster of castoffs, journeymen, has-beens and never-will-bes, the team is expected to struggle in a major way. 

But even if the Lakers aren’t able to turn things around overnight, the journey of going from a laughingstock in 2013-14 back to a respectable competitor could very well come under Scott’s command. 

What does Scott's past as head coach of the New Jersey Nets (2000-04), New Orleans Hornets (2004-09) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-13) tell us about how he’ll try and fix all that’s ailing the once-proud organization he used to play for? Here’s a closer look.


Scott’s Career Is Better Than You Might Think

Scott’s most recent head coaching job with the Cavaliers was a failure from start to finish, but look at his entire resume, and things look a bit brighter.

In just his second and third seasons on the job, he led the long-hapless Nets all the way to back-to-back NBA Finals, where they fell to the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

Defense was everything for both of those Eastern Conference champions. They finished atop the league in defensive rating twice, making their slightly below-average offense somewhat tolerable. Scott’s formula worked, even if a title was never really in the cards. 

Scott immediately followed up four successful years in New Jersey with a little over five more down in New Orleans. Starting in his second season, a 20-year-old Chris Paul was there to help lead the way.

In 2007-08, Scott won NBA Coach of the Year, molding a solid group of overachievers into the league’s fifth-best offense and seventh-best defense. 

It was Scott’s first foray into the p...

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