Byron Scott Fired: Power Ranking Los Angeles Lakers Top Coaching Candidates
Who Coaches the Lakers in 2016-17?
April 25, 2016
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The Los Angeles Lakers have taken another step forward with their rebuilding process by firing head coach Byron Scott. Scott won just 38 games in two seasons with the Lakers and has an overall winning percentage of 41.2 percent. Scott clearly wasn’t going to be a difference maker for the young team in Los Angeles.
Now the question is where do the Lakers turn for head coach?
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Here is a list of potential candidates.
Luke Walton - Luke Walton was the first name that came to mind for me, as he’s sure to get some phone calls after leading the Golden State Warriors on a very impressive start to the season with Steve Kerr sidelined with a bad back. Walton proved he knows how to manage an insanely talented team, can relate to players and is no dummy. For a guy really just getting his feet wet in coaching, Walton has the look of somebody who knows what they’re doing. As for the Lakers, Walton played nine of his 11 seasons with the franchise and was part of two title teams in 2009 and 2010. If Walton thinks he’s ready to make the jump to head coach, he’d probably want to do it with the club he has such a history with already.
Ettore Messina - Ettore Messina may not be a splashy hire for the Lakers, but he’s a safe and productive one. Messina is a well traveled international coach who is currently spending his time in Italy and as an assistant with the Spurs. Before that Messina was a consultant for the Lakers.. Messina has certainly proven himself on the international stage and has a great understanding of NBA concepts. Messina also has a reputation and a comfortability with the Lakers in place already. Messina would certainly be a solid hire if able to convince him to become a head coach in the States for the first time in his career.
Mike D'Antoni - This hire wouldn’t go over well with the fans considering Mike D'Antoni won just 67 games in his two years with the Lakers in his first stop. But let’s not act like D'Antoni isn’t a good coach. When the guy has some talent in place, his teams are exciting and win games. D'Antoni is a bright offensive mind who creates magic when he has quality point guards in place. The one thing the Lakers have working for them is talented guard play in Louis Williams, Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell. A hire that would cater to the young roster would be bringing in the old guy in D'Antoni. There’s potential with this hire, it just won’t be easy convincing the Los Angeles fans, which is why it probably won’t happen.
David Blatt - Remember when the Cleveland Cavaliers hired David Blatt before they knew LeBron James was coming back? The Cavs brought Blatt in knowing he was a six-time Israeli Cup champion and four-time Israeli League Coach of the Year. Blatt can coach. And it’s not like firing Blatt made the Cavaliers any better, as Cleveland is still the hot and cold team it was all season long. Blatt will get a much easier start coaching a Lakers team that doesn’t have one player calling all the shots or four guys with massive egos. This young roster that’s still trying to find itself is more Blatt’s speed. Only concern here is how Blatt would be able to deal with the Los Angeles media and sometimes crazy expectations.
Kevin Ollie - I’m a believer that Kevin Ollie isn’t going to leave UConn anytime soon after Jim Calhoun passed him the keys to the program. However, Ollie has flirted with NBA head coaching in the past, and if there’s one team that would certainly peak his interest, it’s the Lakers. Ollie grew up in South Central and went to Crenshaw High School. This would be a homecoming for the 43-year-old. As for coaching, it’s clear Ollie can get the job done, as he won the national championship in his first year of eligibility. Ollie is a great teacher, has the respect of his players and is one of the few college coaches who can design NBA plays given his lengthy playing history. Ollie would fit in well as an NBA coach. Now, convincing Ollie to leave his alma mater for an NBA job is a different story.