Lakers Insider: Byron Scott Among Many Candidates in Lakers' Ongoing Job Search

Kevin Ding@@KevinDingNBA Senior WriterMay 28, 2014

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For everyone with a "meh" reaction to the recycled veteran coaches being interviewed in this initial stage of the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching search, rest assured that it is nowhere near completion.

It might well still be Byron Scott in the end, but some fresher faces will be popping up and getting their consideration.

There are weeks yet to go in this search, and veterans Scott, Lionel Hollins and Alvin Gentry shouldn't be perceived as the "finalists" for the job just because they're getting sit-down interviews now.

Kurt Rambis and Mike Dunleavy also met with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak but not head of basketball operations Jim Buss—unlike Scott, who huddled with both Kupchak and Buss—an indication that Rambis and Dunleavy aren't necessarily serious contenders.

The basic approach from the Lakers in their search is to be thorough and thoughtful, with no time crunch and no obvious choiceunlike their rush to hire Mike D'Antoni in 2012.

Regarding Derek Fisher, certainly a more novel option given his lack of coaching experience, two people told me on Tuesday not to expect him to become the next Lakers head coach, which is no surprise. Fisher has always been unsure about the grinding life of a coach.

Also, it's entirely possible that if Steve Mills were to leave as New York Knicks general manager or a suitable front-office opening were to be made available under Knicks president Phil Jackson, Fisher might see that as a better role for him than Lakers coach.

With that said, Fisher is certainly a top candidate to be Jackson's first head coach in New York.

Those who know Fisher know that he appreciates being at the heart of a meaningful situation, including the spotlight that brings, and the Knicks job under Jackson is unique possibility.

Don't rule out the idea that if Fisher is willing to coach, he may wind up as the Oklahoma City Thunder head coach instead—assuming the Western Conference Finals take a downturn for Scott Brooks. Fisher believes in himself and is fully aware there could be a Jackson-like opportunity in boosting Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to the top.

Even as he plays infrequently these days—he's averaging only 14.8 minutes per game in the playoffs—Fisher's leadership is obvious to anyone around the Thunder.

Derek Fisher has taken on the role of mentor for Kevin Durant as the Thunder look to return to the NBA Finals.
Derek Fisher has taken on the role of mentor for Kevin Durant as the Thunder look to return to the NBA Finals.Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

It was noticeable in small ways in Oklahoma City's Game 4 victory Tuesday night.

Consider this analysis Durant shared with reporters earlier this season about Fisher:

"He doesn't take s--t from anybody, no matter who he's guarding, no matter who’s in front of him, and it rubs off on everybody here. Of course people know about his veteran leadership, but it’s just his aura he brings to the team, just the aura of a winner. The guy has done so much in this league and he’s striving to do more. He could easily just hang them up and say: 'I've won five championships, I've played with the best players ever to play this game.' But he wants more. I love a player like that. I just love being around him. He's a big brother to me."

Fisher isn't a lock to retire at season's end, although that is his intention. He could also take at least a year off from basketball and explore business roles that have always intrigued him—and get more time at home with his family.

Fisher's wife, Candace, was in the Staples Center stands with seven-year-old twins Tatum and Drew in their blue Fisher replica jerseys during the Thunder-Los Angeles Clippers second-round series.

The Workouts Will Be Covered

Indiana big man Noah Vonleh will be among the first draft prospects to work out for the Lakers.
Indiana big man Noah Vonleh will be among the first draft prospects to work out for the Lakers.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Lakers haven't traditionally made a big fuss about their workouts of draft prospects, but rarely has the draft been as important to the team's future as this year.

Accordingly, the club is expected to open some of those predraft workouts to the media, as some other NBA teams do.

That should give Lakers fans a better chance to get to know the guys who might be their No. 7 overall selection on June 26. The first major workout is set for next Wednesday at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo, California, and will include Indiana power forward Noah Vonleh, a prime candidate to be the Lakers' pick.

There's No Place Like Home

If you follow Nick Young and Jordan Farmar on social media, it is increasingly easy to envision those free agents taking hometown discounts again to re-sign with the Lakers.

On Twitter, Young shared Monday that he gets asked more than anything if he's returning to the Lakers. Meanwhile, Farmar posted a photo of himself near the beach with the caption: "Man, I love LA!"

Kevin Ding covers the Lakers for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @KevinDing.


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