NBA

Byron Scott.

The Los Angeles Lakers part ways with head coach Byron Scott

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The Los Angeles Lakers have fired head coach Byron Scott after the worst season in franchise history which saw them finish with a 17-65 record. 

Scott spent two years as the Lakers coach and had a personal record of 38-126, the worst of any of the 16 coaches that had led the team for at least two campaigns. 

The move to oust Scott is not a huge surprise due to his inability to handle the team's core group of young players, most notably the number two draft pick D'Angelo Russell.  

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The 55-year-old's task for the year became helping Kobe Bryant get through his final season in the NBA after he announced his retirement and after the Black Mamba ended a glittering 20-year career on April 13, Scott has now also been shown the door.

"We would like to thank Byron for his hard work, dedication and loyalty over the last two years, but have decided it is in the best interest of the organisation to make a change at this time," said General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

There was some speculation in the past week that the Lakers were strongly considering picking up their option of extending Scott's tenure, but as expected, that hasn't come to fruition. 

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Speaking last week, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Scott was aware that his job was on the line.

"This is my dream job, and obviously, you want the opportunity to turn it all around," Scott said. "But I understand the business of basketball, and it's all about wins and losses."

The search for the next man to lead the purple and gold begins immediately with a number of candidates in the frame. 

The favourite is likely to be Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton who won two championships as a player with the franchise. 

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Walton's stock rose considerably early in the campaign as he led the Warriors to a 24-0 start in the absence of Steve Kerr who underwent back surgery last summer.

Despite their problems, the Lakers remain one of the biggest franchises in the NBA and American sports and the opportunity to return them among the league's elite should be a challenge that many coaches should relish. 

With the two best coaches on the market snapped up last week with Scott Brooks joining the Washington Wizards and Tom Thibodeau signing a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers are not blessed with great options.

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With over $40 million available in cap space, the organisation will be recruiting hard in free agency to bring in a proven player who is capable of leading a young and talented roster in Los Angeles.

Kevin Durant is the biggest name on the market, but players like Al Horford and L.A. native DeMar DeRozan should interest Kupchak and the Lakers front office. 

However, it will be almost impossible to recruit any of these players, especially Durant, without a good coach in place who will undoubtedly have a big say in the recruitment process. 

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Whoever takes over the helm will definitely have something to build on with players like Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle showing their potential at various points during a dismal campaign.

The Los Angeles Lakers have made some bad decisions in recent years that has left them in the playoff wilderness but they must get this right to allow this huge franchise to get back to where it belongs.

Topics:
NBA
Western Conference
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Roy Hibbert
Kobe Bryant

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