NBA rumors are suggesting that the Los Angeles Lakers will fire Byron Scott after the season ends and replace him as head coach with Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, according to Hoops Rumors. The move would coincide with the end of the Kobe Bryant era, and Walton would usher in a rebuilding period built around Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle.
Anyone that has paid attention to the Los Angeles Lakers know that Byron Scott has not been doing a very good job of connecting with his younger players. It has been well documented over the season. Both D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle started off the season as starters for the Lakers, but after a couple of weeks in, Scott decided to demote them and send them to the bench.
Another big problem for Byron Scott is that a lot of the younger players on the Los Angeles Lakers roster have witnessed him overtly catering to Kobe Bryant during his retirement tour. While it is not out of the ordinary for head coaches in the NBA to cater to their star players, Scott has gone a bit overboard. He’s told the media plenty of times that he will tolerate Bryant continuing to shoot the ball and preventing others from doing so on nights where he’s struggling to make shots.
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak both know that a new era is coming next season. They’re not shying away from being honest with fans about that because everyone knows that Kobe Bryant will no longer be there after 20 tremendous years. Since fans are expecting major changes, it would not be a bad time for them to make a huge change at the head coaching position, especially since fans might not be all that excited to see Scott in the same role next year.
Luke Walton would be quite the breath of fresh air for the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s the hottest head coaching candidate in the NBA today. Walton saw his stock rise tremendously when he took over as the Golden State Warriors interim head coach while Steve Kerr recovered from surgery. Stephen Curry and his teammates somehow improved over their record-breaking season last year, so Walton benefited from that tremendously.
Since he played for the Los Angeles Lakers for several years and won multiple NBA Championships, Luke Walton is more than likely going to be instantly beloved by the fan base, especially since he comes from such a winning environment like the Golden State Warriors. The former Arizona Wildcats star was never the best player on the team, but people loved him because of his hustle, unselfishness, and intelligence.
The age gap between Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers players is a lot smaller than the one between Byron Scott and the roster. That alone should make it easier for the guys to relate to their new head coach. Plus, the fact that Walton has actually played in the NBA bodes well for him because players have a tendency to respect guys that have been in their shoes at some point in time.
Hardcore fans of the Los Angeles Lakers remember what the Triangle Offense did for the team. Luke Walton might not implement the system fully, but there should be several sets in his playbook that will be recognizable to Lakers fans. If Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle were to buy into Walton and the Triangle Offense, then they will make a return to the NBA Playoffs sooner than people think.
[Featured Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]