With the end of Kobe Bryant's glorious tenure at the Staples Center, the L.A. Lakers are embarking on a new dawn.
Whether it will be as successful as the previous 20 Kobe-filled years or not is anybody's guess. However, the Lakers brass made a statement of intent by dismissing head coach Byron Scott of his duties this week following a two-year reign that spawned a sour 38-126 record.
For the second most successful franchise in NBA history, that's just not good enough. Given their market presence and history, the Lakers faithful deserves much better than what they've been subjected to in recent seasons.
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Rebuilding can be part and parcel of the game in this league, but the fact that Scott posted a worse record in his second season than he did his first - with a fit Bryant for the vast majority - indicated there was precious little progress being made in Los Angeles.
It appears that part-owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak are wasting no time in their search as Sam Amick has reported they've already put some feelers out while compiling their shortlist.
Amick reported: "According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Lakers have received permission from the San Antonio Spurs to interview their lead assistant coach, Ettore Messina, as a possible replacement for the recently departed Scott."
The 56-year-old Italian is a widely respected coach who has four Euroleague titles on his resume, as well as claiming the Euroleague coach of the year twice. Messina actually spent the 2011-12 NBA season on the Lakers coaching staff headed by Mike Brown, acting as a consultant to the head coach.
Obviously, the Lakers appear to favour keeping their appointments in the family. Derek Fisher and Luke Walton may well receive consideration by that same notion.
In the same report, Amick went on to discuss the purple and gold's interest in former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach - and brother to Detroit Pistons coach, Stan - Jeff Van Gundy:
"Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie and now ESPN analyst, Jeff Van Gundy, are also expected to receive consideration. According to a person with knowledge of Van Gundy's situation, he has also been contacted by the Lakers and does have an interest in the position. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the process."
Had the Buss family come to a decision sooner, one might argue that Scott Brooks - a California native - would have been a smart appointment. Now that the former Oklahoma City Thunder coach has taken the gig with the Washington Wizards, the Lakers have an important decision to make.
They need a coach that can mould the talented young core of Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, but also someone who can command respect to make the Lakers appear more attractive in free agency.
Who do you think the next Lakers head coach should be?