Lakers Finally Confirm Byron Scott Is New Head Coach - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Lakers Finally Confirm Byron Scott Is New Head Coach

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 / CNS) Byron Scott was introduced today as the Los Angeles Lakers new coach, returning to the team he played with for 11 seasons, including as the starting shooting guard on three NBA championship teams in the 1980s.

"We know we have some work ahead of us, but I'm excited,'' Scott said at a news conference at the Toyota Sports Center. "I mean, just thrilled to death. I'm eager. Just ready to get to work. Just ready to get to work. I know it's going to be a challenge, but I look forward to it. You know, I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.''

Mitch Kupchak, the team's general manager, announced Monday that Scott had signed a multi-year contract. The announcement capped weeks of speculation following a series of interviews Scott had with the team.

Scott said he was peppered with questions from fans -- so much so that he "had to get out of town for a few days just to relax.''

"But you know, patience is a virtue, and it's well worth it,'' he said. "And I'm glad to be back with this organization, which I think is the best in all of sports.''

Scott's former teammates Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamaal Wilkes were among those who attended the morning news conference. He said the lessons he learned from them as teammates will carry over into his coaching. 'The main thing I have to do right away is establish ourselves as a defensive basketball team,'' Scott said. "These three gentlemen sitting in this front row, the first thing Magic taught me when I got in this league is we win championships by defending every single night. Offense is going to come and go -- you're going to miss shots, you're gonna make shots, but you know, the one thing you control every single night is your effort on the defensive end.

"So we have to obviously get that back in the plans. Guys have to understand that that's what it's going to take and they have to be held accountable for that.''

Kupchak said Monday that Scott "has proven himself at the highest levels of the game as both a player and a coach in his almost 30 years of NBA experience.''

"His leadership skills and track record for success make him the ideal person to lead this franchise forward.''

Scott succeeds Mike D'Antoni, who resigned in April after the team posted a 27-55 record in the 2013-14 season, its worst since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Scott, a graduate of Morningside High School in Inglewood, was an analyst on Laker pregame and postgame shows this past season on Time Warner Cable SportsNet after coaching 13 seasons in the NBA with three teams. His career coaching record is 416-521, a .444 winning percentage.

Scott guided the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals in 2002, losing to the Lakers, and 2003, losing to the San Antonio Spurs. He was selected as the NBA's coach of the year for the 2007-2008 season when he was with the New Orleans Hornets.

Scott's most recent coaching position was with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who he coached from 2010-13.

Scott becomes the Lakers' 25th coach and 21st since their move to Los Angeles. He is the seventh former Laker player to become the team's coach.

UPDATE: 7/29 11:40am. Tweet From Bob DeCastro:

New @Lakers head coach #ByronScott gets nod from legends @MagicJohnson @kaj33 Jamaal Wilkes

 

(FOX 11 / AP) The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed Byron Scott is their new coach Monday night.

The Lakers finally made the long-anticipated announcement in a news release. Scott will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday at the Lakers' training complex.

Scott told reporters last weekend he had been hired by the Lakers, who have been without a coach since Mike D'Antoni resigned April 30. Scott is the 25th head coach in the 16-time NBA champions' franchise history.

General manager Mitch Kupchak said he conducted "an extensive and thorough search" with owner Jim Buss.

"We're proud to welcome Byron back to the Lakers family as our next head coach," Kupchak said. "Byron has proven himself at the highest levels of the game as both a player and a coach in his almost 30 years of NBA experience. His leadership skills and track record for success make him the ideal person to lead this franchise forward."

Scott is 416-521 as a head coach for New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland, reaching two NBA Finals with the Nets. He has won three division titles, and he was the NBA's coach of the year in 2008.

Scott also was a shooting guard for the Lakers for 11 seasons, playing alongside Magic Johnson during the Showtime era. He was a teammate of Lakers star Kobe Bryant during his final NBA season, and Bryant has endorsed Scott for his new job.

"I am ecstatic to once again be a Laker and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mitch and the Buss family," Scott said. "I know firsthand what it takes to bring a championship to this city, and as someone who both grew up in L.A. and played the majority of my career here, I know how passionate and dedicated our fans are. I will give everything I have to fulfill the championship expectations that our supporters have for us, and that we have for ourselves."

Scott spent last season as an analyst on the Lakers' television network, watching their disintegration during a 55-loss season, the most in franchise history. Bryant played just six games last season.

The Lakers interviewed several coaching candidates over the past three months, including Lionel Hollins and George Karl. Scott has been widely considered the front-runner for the job since early summer, but Kupchak and Buss appeared to be more focused on the NBA draft and free agency than their current team's leadership.

From Bob DeCastro:

The three months search for a new Lakers head coach finally comes to an end. Byron Scott has been tapped to lead the team-- the 25th coach in the team's history.

The 53-year-old Scott has a lifetime of experience in the NBA, and more importantly a deep history with Los Angeles and the Lakers. He grew up in Inglewood and then spent 11of his 14 year NBA career with the Lakers. Scott has three championship rings with the Lakers-- 1985, 1987, and 1988. He also has a strong relationship with Kobe Bryant and the Buss family. He most recently was a broadcast analyst for the Lakers.

This is his fourth run as an NBA head coach. Scott led the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back NBA finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. He also coached New Orleans and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Scott will have a four year deal for $17 million. A news conference is scheduled for 11 AM Tuesday at the lakers training facility in El Segundo.

 

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