Tuesday, July 29, 2014

David Thorpe Does Not Explain Why Byron Scott was a Bad Hire

Issac Baldizon/NBAE
Issac Baldizon/NBAE
In the TrueHoop section of ESPN's NBA website, noted contributor David Thorpe had a podcast with Henry Abbott about the Los Angeles Lakers's terrible hire of Byron Scott.  To sum it up, Thorpe thought Scott was a boring choice.  But he did not give a good reason(s) for why Scott was a bad choice.  He just assumed the Lakers made the safe move and did not bother looking elsewhere.  When Abbott asked Thorpe how does Scott operate, Thorpe admitted he did not know.  How do you criticize a coach if you don't know what is his coaching style?  Scott has had some success rebuilding a franchise, but it took time both with the New Jersey Nets and the then New Orleans Hornets.
Thorpe's advice for the Lakers was to be more innovative with management.  This meant traveling around the world for a year to find the best coaching staff.  He praised the Cleveland Cavaliers for hiring Israeli American coach David Blatt, who had great success for Israel's national team and the Detroit Pistons for hiring Stan Van Gundy, who is in the process of modeling the Pistons after his Orlando Magic team, which had one center and four shooters.
The Los Angeles Lakers looked at Scott, Lionel Hollins, George Karl, Alvin Gentry, Kurt Rambis, and Mike Dunleavy before selecting Scott.  I believe they picked Scott because he was a mentor to Kobe Bryant once, when Bryant was a rookie.  They wanted a coach who had experience working with young players, which he has.  They wanted a coach who can earn Byrant's respect and trust.  Scott might have the most respect and trust from Byrant out of the other candidates. 
While Scott's former teammates showed their support for him and shouted "Showtime is back", Scott realizes that he can't duplicate Showtime.  He knows the Lakers will not be able to be an up tempo team with the roster they have.  He's preaching defense and moving the ball around.  Coach Thorpe, that was Scott's coaching style.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

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