Byron Scott accepting the Cleveland Cavaliers job the same day Phil Jackson announced he will return for one more season should come as no surprise to diehard Lakers fans. Byron Scott never stood a chance to coach the LA Lakers.
Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss was never going to hire Scott in the first place. There were other times the former Laker great had a chance to come to coach his hometown team but an offer never came.
In 2004, when Shaquille O’Neal was traded and Jackson left the Lakers, Scott could have easily been given the opportunity to coach his former team. He had been fired during the season by the New Jersey Nets and didn't go to the New Orleans Hornets until 2005.
Believe me, Scott would have jumped at the opening in a heartbeat. But no way was Buss going that route.
And, at least in my opinion, Scott is a great coach, and I'm happy he's back in the fraternity. Whether LeBron James resigns or not, the Cavs will be good under Scott. He can't help but be an excellent coach.
But none of that matters to Jerry Buss. He is not a fan of Byron Scott’s coaching style, and while other members of the Lakers organization might have wanted Scott on the sideline, the elder Buss pulls the strings. Always.
This time around, there is another reason why Scott was never going to coach this version of the Lakers: the Triangle Offense.
Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and company are not going to learn a new offense. The Lakers will run the triangle until the day Kobe retires. And, Gasol is a dream fit for the triangle. This will be their offense for as long as they play together. Kobe knows no other offense (if you don’t count him going one on five!!).
So, Phil returning comes as no surprise either, except for that I thought he would go out on top. I guess from his press release today, he still has the fire and the challenge for one more run or “grand one” left, as he called it.
Phil can still leave the game a winner by hoisting another trophy next year. Then, as I predict, he will turn the reins over to the coach who is waiting in the wings: Brian Shaw.
Then, the Lakers will continue to run the triangle under Shaw, and more than likely, keep raising Championship banners in Staples.
This is why Byron Scott never stood a chance to get the Lakers job in the first place. It was going to be Phil coaching again or Brian Shaw taking over.
It is a great day in Lakerland, with Phil choosing to return. The Lakers’ Shaman has more medicine for a final championship run. His first reign dance was today, with this announcement.
Let us all be thankful that the biggest piece for a Lakers three-peat is back in place. Phil will be going for the unheard of “twelve pack,” attempting to close out his storied career with a fourth, yes a fourth, three-peat.
I think he will. He must have too, or he would have walked away now, on top.