The Lakers on Saturday night reached a deal with Byron Scott that will pay their new head coach $17 million over four years, according to a report from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. The deal includes a fourth-year team option for the Lakers, according to Shelburne.
The two sides had been in negotiations for nearly two weeks. On Friday, it was reported that the Lakers front office had offered the job to Scott. The news brings an end to nearly three months of the Lakers being without a head coach after Los Angeles parted ways with Mike D'Antoni following one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
The 53-year-old Scott, who won three NBA championships with the 1980s Lakers, spent more than a decade with the organization as a player. He was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2008 with the Hornets -- then in New Orleans -- and was a two-time All-Star head coach. He also spent four years with the Nets -- then in New Jersey -- leading the Nets to two NBA Finals. Most recently as a head coach, he spent three years with the Cavaliers from 2010-13 following LeBron James' departure for the Miami Heat.
According to Shelburne, there were a number of factors that played into the Lakers' decision to go with Scott after interviewing many candidates. Among those factors were Scott's previous tenure as player with the organization, his job over the last year as a Lakers television analyst, as well as his close relationship with star Kobe Bryant; the two played together on the Lakers during Bryant's rookie year in 1996.
Bryant recently gave Scott a ringing endorsement, even saying in the report that Scott used to make him get doughnuts during his rookie year:
"He was my rookie mentor when I first came into the league. So I had to do things like get his doughnuts and run errands for him and things like that. We've had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years. So, obviously, I know him extremely well. He knows me extremely well. I've always been a fan of his."
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- Marc Weinreich