LeBron James should be the next Lakers coach, according to Byron Scott

Tony Nguyen | Uncategorized
May 10, 2024

The Los Angeles Lakers started their offseason by cleaning house in firing Darvin Ham and his assistants following a first-round exit at the hands of the Denver Nuggets in this season’s playoffs. Contrary to other rumors and views by observers and analysts, Byron Scott said the Lakers should hand the coaching reins to LeBron James.

Since firing Ham, multiple names have popped up as the possible next Lakers head coach, including Mike Budenholzer and ex-Lakers guard Tyronn Lue. Former Lakers assistant Jason Kidd was previously in the rumored mix, but his contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks dashed the possibility of his return to Los Angeles.

The Lakers are looking for their fifth head coach in the last 10 years, with Darvin Ham’s stint only lasting two seasons.

Byron Scott’s unorthodox pitch to make LeBron James coach

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after a play with head coach Darvin Ham
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Byron Scott, a former Lakers player himself from 1983-1993 and from 1996-97, gave the bold and unorthodox statement as he believes that since LeBron James has so much input on the team’s strategy and decisions, he might as well take control of the game plans as well as player-coach (skip to the 0:18 mark).

“My recommendation [for] the next Lakers coach, and out of the eight or nine names that I’ve heard, his name wasn’t on there, is make LeBron [James] the [head] coach. Make him the coach,” Scott said on Undisputed.

“Listen, I got nothing but love and respect for LeBron, I love him, I think he’s one of the greatest players that ever played this game, but it’s obvious to me at least, that he’s making a lot of decisions that’s going on in this organization from a coaching standpoint to a player standpoint. So if you’re going to allow him to make those decisions, alright, sit on the bench and make those decisions as well as be head coach.”

Scott thought that JJ Redick as a name floated to become the next Lakers head coach was laughable. Coincidentally, the former NBA veteran swingman is LeBron James’ co-host on the podcast “Mind the Game.”

“Out of the names…you have to find someone who LeBron is comfortable with from a head coaching standpoint. The last name I heard was JJ Redick and I started laughing. Well now they got a podcast together, so y’all [are] comfortable [and] y’all are buddy buddy so now his name is on the list?”

“As far as I’m concerned, the only person that he’s going to really trust is himself,” Scott noted.

LeBron needs a “scapegoat?”

Meanwhile, Scott and program host Skip Bayless chimed in that LeBron James would not accept the pressure of being both a player and the head coach as James may want to seek a scapegoat in the event that things don’t work out as planned.

“I don’t think he’d want the pressure of being in the co-seat, the dual seat,” said Bayless. Scott then replied: “You’re probably right…because you gotta have a scapegoat in that seat as they’ve had in the last four years.

“[The Lakers] had Frank Vogel, who wins a championship with them [and then] the next year, boom, he’s gone. Darvin Ham, who goes to the Western Conference Finals last year [and] this year, boom, he’s gone,” Scott added.

“So what are you looking for? What do you need as a head coach to get this team to the next level? You have two of the best players in the NBA, even at 39 years old LeBron is one of the best players in the NBA. Anthony Davis played out of his mind in my opinion, played more games than he’s played since he’s been a Laker, was as healthy as he can be, played great against Denver…to me I’m looking at just [making] LeBron as the head coach.”

Scott then pushed back on the hypothetical idea of returning as Lakers head coach. “I’ve been there, done that…it’s one of those jobs right now where all the pressure and all the blame is on the coach,” he said.

NBA rules, however, forbid the hiring of a player-coach since the 1983-84 season to prevent teams from circumventing salary cap rules.

Byron Scott held the head coaching post for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first post-LeBron James era from 2010-13, then took the Lakers head coach for two-and-a-half seasons from 2014-16.