Byron Scott Introduced As New Lakers Head Coach, Inglewood Residents Elated
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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Former Laker Byron Scott was officially introduced Tuesday as the new head coach of the Purple and Gold.
Scott, of Inglewood, and the Lakers have agreed to a 4-year deal, reportedly worth $17 million.
He was introduced to the media during an 11 a.m. news conference at the team’s El Segundo practice facility by Laker greats Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
The 53-year-old played for the Lakers in the “Showtime” era during the 1980s, winning NBA championships in 1985, 1987 and 1988.
Scott is set to be the 25th coach for the Purple and Gold and the fourth coach after Phil Jackson’s final year with the Lakers in 2011.
The head coaching position had been vacant since Mike D’Antoni resigned three months ago.
Scott, the 2007-08 NBA Coach of the Year, is an Inglewood native, and began coaching in New Jersey in the 2000-01 season. In his second and third seasons with the team, the New Jersey Nets won consecutive Eastern Conference championships.
Scott is well thought of in Inglewood, the neighborhood where he perfected his game before going pro.
“We are elated that they’ve brought back a former Laker to lead the Lakers to another championship,” Inglewood resident and fan Tracey Smith said. “The Staples Center is just going to be coming alive with the greatness of Byron Scott.”
Many local Laker fans, meanwhile, see Scott as more than a simple hometown hero, and that his hiring will be good for the community.
“He just really loves kids and the community, so whatever he can do to bring the ‘Showtime’ back to LA, I know he’s going to do it,” resident Sonia Hooks said.
Following his four years in New Jersey, Scott coached the New Orleans Hornets from 2004 to 2010, before a three year stint in Cleveland. Most recently, Scott’s Cleveland Cavaliers managed a 24-58 record through 2012-13.
Last year, he was a commentator for the team on Time Warner Sports Network.