Will Lakers name Byron Scott the head coach?

Byron Scott has interviewed with the Lakers three times, but the search remains ongoing. AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Byron Scott has interviewed with the Lakers three times, but the search remains ongoing. AP Photo/Tony Dejak

My colleague Daily News columnist Vinny Bonsignore wonders and explains the hold up surrounding the Lakers not hiring Byron Scott as head coach despite already having three interviews with him.

The Lakers planned to hold off on hiring a coach until knowing how they would fill out a roster so they could match the proper candidate with the proper personnel. That is why Scott’s interview on Wednesday with the Lakers mostly entailed going over the roster. But he left the interview without receiving a job offer.

At the beginning of this week, the Lakers planned to make a hire within the next two weeks, though a league source familiar with the team’s thought process said that could also happen within a couple of days. Considering the Lakers have mostly rounded out their roster, Bonsignore argues the Lakers should just hire Scott already.

RELATED:

Lakers need to make it official with Byron Scott


NBA TV analyst Rick Fox believes Kobe Bryant receives “unfair” criticism over contract extension


Lakers finish with winning bid on Carlos Boozer

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

NBA TV analyst Rick Fox believes Kobe Bryant receives “unfair” criticism over contract extension

"Kobe Bryant welcomes youngsters to the Kobe Basketball Academy at UCSB, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The five-day camp focuses on the Flex offense, the Princeton offense and the Triangle offense. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)"

“Kobe Bryant welcomes youngsters to the Kobe Basketball Academy at UCSB, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The five-day camp focuses on the Flex offense, the Princeton offense and the Triangle offense. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)”

Below is a Q&A on the Lakers’ offseason with NBA TV analyst Rick Fox, who is hosting a show titled “Fox After Dark” airing Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 9:30 p.m. PST. The show will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League as well as interviews with NBA personalities and celebrities, including New Kids on the Block’s Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood, rapper Common, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Terry Crews, illusionist Criss Angel and the cast of VH1’s basketball drama Hit the Floor, among others.


How would you analyze the Lakers’ free agency period?


Fox:
A lot went down. Most of it was centered on LeBron James’ decision to go home. That was really the big piece that toppled the rest of free agency. Pau Gasol went to Chicago, which makes them stronger. Carmelo Anthony stayed home in New York. I think for me the storylines were the shift to Cleveland for LeBron and the future potential top free agents coming in and joining him and where does the Heat go from here. Obviously they’re not going to fold a tent. But I don’t think they’re expecting to make such an adjustment so quickly.

As far as the Lakers, I thought there was potential for them to lose Jordan Hill and Nick Young to free agency. Those are young talented players in the organization that had really good years. They probably wanted to continue to build some of that back. In bringing Jeremy Lin, they were obviously in need of a healthy point guard. He played in a big market in New York and he understands what that is like. I think he’ll be received well by Lakers fans. The draft picks definitely helped considering we lost a ton of them in a trade for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

Historically, the Lakers have built through free agency. But it just seems it’s harder to get players to be patient enough to be unrestricted free agents. Even then, the advantage goes to the teams that can pay them the most money. It’s hard for a player to leave money on the table with a no real guarantee of winning a championship. You still have to go out and compete and pursue it. I think the era of making free agent moves at least in this collective bargaining agreement is real slow. That puts the Lakers in a really difficult position where you have to build through trades and drafts. Unfortunately to trade with pieces, I don’t think that can happen. Players will have to develop to warrant getting a player of All-Star development in a trade.

Are these defections from star players a sign the Lakers don’t have the lure to attract a big free agents, or unique circumstances with each player?


Fox:
From a business standpoint, Pau was offered three years and $29 million. But he left for Chicago, who can compete in the Eastern Conference and has a chance to go to the Finals. For him, it was about finding the right situation where he could contribute to and compete for championships. Guys aren’t just going to leave L.A. out of desire. I think it speaks more to the uncertainty of who the coach is and the direction of the team. But they chose to make a run at LeBron and Carmelo. That put the Lakers slowly behind in the pursuit of some of the secondary guys.

But do you still like that the Lakers swung for the fences even when you weigh the consequence?


Fox:
Oh yeah. It’s L.A. and the it’s the Lakers. That’s what they’re supposed to do. That’s what I ‘d expect them to do. I wouldn’t expect anything else. Carmelo went back home and got the additional $30 million and LeBron wanted to go home to Cleveland. You can’t fault both of those guys for going into situations where they felt most connected. Either one of them now has a brighter chance at winning a championship next year.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers win highest bid for Carlos Boozer

Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer, right, goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Lakers' Ryan Kelly (4), during the second quarter of an NBA bask

Chicago Bulls’ Carlos Boozer, right, goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Lakers’ Ryan Kelly (4), during the second quarter of an NBA bask

The Lakers submitted the winning bid to pick up former Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, according to a league source familiar with the situation.

The Bulls waived Boozer this week through the so-called amnesty provision, which requires the team to still owe his $16.8 million left on his remaining contract albeit without the money costing against the team’s salary cap. The Lakers’ bid price, which has not been reported at this time, offsets the balance that the Bulls still owe the 12-year NBA veteran.

Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds through 76 appearances with the Bulls, but he faced reduced playing time amid concerns about his defense. The Lakers currently have nine players under contract, including Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, Jeremy Lin, Julius Randle, Nick Young, Ed Davis, Jordan Hill and Boozer. The Lakers also have non-guaranteed deals to Kendall Marshall and Jordan Clarkson, both of whom are expected to stay on the roster.

This move appears appealing for the Lakers both because of Boozer’s potential and his expiring contract. The NBA’s current labor deal prohibits players picked up through an amnesty claim, such as Boozer, to be traded at any point during the season.

RELATED:

Metta World Peace oozes optimism about Lakers, Kobe Bryant, playing future

Julius Randle passes test on Kobe Bryant trivia

Byron Scott’s third interview with Lakers ends without offer

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Metta World Peace oozes optimism about Lakers, Kobe Bryant, playing future

A looming presence marched his way down the red carpet on Wednesday before the 2014 ESPY awards in downtown Los Angeles. A familiar voice shouted into microphones and tape recorders as he bounced from one reporter to the next.

Yes, Metta World Peace was back in Los Angeles, eager to share a litany of laughs. So, of course, that entailed offering this outlandish explanation for why the Lakers ended last season with a 27-55 record, the worst mark in L.A. franchise history.

“They took a break. Sometimes you have to go to sleep and take a break,” World Peace said. “They’re like a sleeping bear. They’ll wake up out of hibernation and then get back on top.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Julius Randle passes test on Kobe Bryant trivia

Julius Randle encountered a test arguably just as challenging as adapting to the NBA or handling Kobe Bryant’s demanding expectations.

The Lakers’ rookie had to prove on NBA TV’s “The Starters” that he knew his Bryant trivia after professing himself as a Kobe fan growing up. It may not be challenging to answer whom the Lakers traded for to acquire Bryant’s rights from Charlotte in 1996 (Vlade Divac). Or the origin of Kobe’s name (a Japanese steakhouse). Or when Kobe won the NBA Dunk Contest (his rookie season).

But any slip up might reveal Randle’s expertise on all things Black Mamba may not be as sharp as he professes, leading both Bryant and a legion of supporters giving him a collective death stare. For Randle’s sake, however, he passed the test.

RELATED:

Lakers agree to two-year deal with free agent forward Ed Davis

Byron Scott’s third interview with Lakers ends without offer

Nick Young reports Kobe Bryant already on him about preparing for next season

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers agree to two-year deal with free agent forward Ed Davis

The Lakers continued filling out their roster by agreeing with free agent forward Ed Davis to a two-year deal worth $2 million, according to a Yahoo! Sports sports. The story mentions Davis’ second year on his contract is a player option.

Davis will likely backup Lakers rookie Julius Randle at power forward. Davis has averaged 6.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game with the Toronto Raptors (2010-12) and Memphis Grizzlies (2012-14).

RELATED:

Byron Scott’s third interview with Lakers ends without offer

Nick Young reports Kobe Bryant already on him about preparing for next season

Lakers coaching search timetable remains unpredictable

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Byron Scott’s third interview with Lakers ends without offer

Has a long history with the Lakers, playing for them for 10 consecutive seasons (1983-93) and winning three NBA titles. After retiring form professional basketball in 1998, Scott began his coaching career as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings. He has been a head coach with New Jersey (2000-04), New Orleans (2004-09) and Cleveland (2010-13). He has an overall record of 416-521 (.444) and went 33-24 (.579) in the playoffs. Turned 53 in March. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Has a long history with the Lakers, playing for them for 10 consecutive seasons (1983-93) and winning three NBA titles. After retiring form professional basketball in 1998, Scott began his coaching career as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings. He has been a head coach with New Jersey (2000-04), New Orleans (2004-09) and Cleveland (2010-13). He has an overall record of 416-521 (.444) and went 33-24 (.579) in the playoffs. Turned 53 in March. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Byron Scott’s 3 1/2 hour interview on Wednesday with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive Jim Buss involved plenty of detail surrounding the team’s assembled roster since free agency began over two weeks ago. But the meeting at an undisclosed location ended without an offer, according to a league source familiar with the situation.

The Lakers indicated they still planned to fill out the rest of the roster that currently features Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, Julius Randle, Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Jordan Hill, Kendall Marshall and Jordan Clarkson. But the Lakers did not indicate how long that process would take or if Scott would need to come in for what would mark his fourth interview, said the league source.

This week, the Lakers expected to make their hire within the next one or two weeks. But a league source familiar with the team’s thought process also added that the hiring “could happen within a couple of days.” The Lakers have also interviewed Mike Dunleavy, Lionel Hollins, Kurt Rambis and Alvin Gentry, but Dunelavy remains the lone candidate already interviewed without a job. Hollins accepted the Brooklyn Nets job after Jason Kidd hastily left for the Milwaukee Bucks. Gentry and Rambis took assistant coaching gigs with Golden State and New York, respectively. Veteran NBA coach George Karl also talked informally with Kupchak, but he has not had a formal interview.

Scott has been considered the heavy favorite ever since the Lakers coaching search started after Mike D’Antoni reisgned on April 30. Scott is believed to be the only candidate who has had multiple interviews. Kobe Bryant recently voiced his approval. Scott also appears to be favored among the Lakers’ fan base considering his experience playing for the Lakers during the Showtime Era.

RELATED:

Nick Young reports Kobe Bryant already on him about preparing for next season

Lakers to interview Byron Scott on Wednesday

Lakers coaching search timetable remains unpredictable

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Nick Young reports Kobe Bryant already on him about preparing for next season

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: Professional basketball player Nick Young attends the Body at ESPYS Pre-Party at Lure on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ESPN) Photo Credit - Getty Images for ESPN

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JULY 15: Professional basketball player Nick Young attends the Body at ESPYS Pre-Party at Lure on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ESPN)
Photo Credit – Getty Images for ESPN

A sense of joy and relief filled Nick Young’s emotions as he processed the Lakers securing him to a four-year, $21.5 million deal. The joy entailed basking in relative riches after his gamble to opt out of his $1.2 million player option paid off in securing a longer and more lucrative contract with the Lakers. The relief reflected Young’s uncertainty on whether the Lakers would keep him amid their hope to maintain financial flexibility and their continuous pursuit of Carmelo Anthony.

“I thought, ‘Maybe I might end up being somewhere else,” Young told this newspaper Tuesday night at Lure Nightclub, which hosted an ESPN-sponsored red carpet event commemorating its recent Body issue. “I knew if Melo signed here, I would pretty much have to go somewhere else.”

Before Young could become too giddy about staying in his hometown, he received an important phone call from Kobe Bryant. The message went beyond congratulating Young, a former Cleveland Reseda High and USC standout, on staying in his hometown.

“He was the first person to call me. He was telling me to get in the gym and work hard,” Young recalled. “They’re already counting us out.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers to interview Byron Scott on Wednesday

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 19:  during the game on December 19, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 19: during the game on December 19, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

After keeping focus both on the NBA draft and free agency, the Lakers will shift back to their coaching search that has already lasted nearly three months. Byron Scott will meet with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive Jim Buss on Wednesday, according to a league source familiar with the situation. This will mark his third formal interview Scott will have with the Lakers since the coaching search started after Mike D’Antoni resigned on April 30.

Scott is expected to talk to the Lakers’ brass about the team’s personnel in the wake of a flurry of free agent moves. It is not expected Scott will field an offer at this specific offer and dive into contract negotiations. After missing out on both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers acquired Jeremy Lin and a 2015 first and second round draft pick from the Houston Rockets for the rights of overseas player Sergei Lishchuk. The Lakers lost out on Pau Gasol, but they kept Nick Young (four years, $21.5 million) and Jordan Hill (two years, $18 million).

The Lakers are expected to hire their coach within the next one to two weeks, according to a league source familiar with the situation. But the source also added the hiring “could happen within a couple of days.” The Lakers plan to have follow-up interviews, though it remains unclear if they would go beyond talking to Scott again.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers put varying priorities on Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson

Photo: Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News

Photo: Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News

Most of the Lakers’ offseason work appears complete. Almost. They still have not hired a head coach. They also have around four or five spots to fill out the rest of the roster.

So how will all of this play out?

The Lakers expect to name a head coach within the next week or two. But the Lakers will likely fill out their roster beforehand. That leaves the Lakers’ remaining free agents in Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson in varying states of limbo.

The Lakers expect to re-sign Kelly soon. They also like Henry, but it does not appear any deal is imminent. And the Lakers remain mixed on Johnson, who is not considered a priority.

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email