Lakers Coaching Candidate Profile: Byron Scott

(Photo: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

Byron Scott, age 53, from Ogden, Utah.

College: Arizona State

Basketball playing career stats:

a) Arizona State Sun Devils 1979-83 (3 Seasons), Guard

Games: 90

PPG: 17.5

FG%: 50.7

APG: 3.1

FT%: 74.7

b) NBA Career (14 Seasons: Lakers 1983-93 and 1996-97, Pacers 1993-95, Grizzlies 1995-96 )

Drafted 4th overall by the San Diego Clippers in the 1983 NBA Draft; he was traded immediately to the Los Angeles Lakers for fan favorite, Norm Nixon.

Games: 1073

PPG: 14.1

FG%: 48.2

3PT%: 37.0

APG: 2.5

Coaching resume:

NBA Career Coaching Record: 416-521, .444 winning percentage (regular season)

NBA career playoff record: 33-24, .579 winning percentage

13 seasons NBA Head Coaching Experience

2x NBA Finals Appearance (2002 and 2003 Nets)

2x reaching Conference Finals (2002 and 2003 with Nets)

Has qualified for the NBA Playoffs in 4 of his 13 seasons coaching.

NBA head coaching jobs: 

New Jersey Nets 2000-04 (4 seasons)

New Orleans Hornets 2004-10 (6 seasons)

Cleveland Cavaliers 2010-13 (3 seasons)

Coaching Highlights:

  • Coached the New Jersey Nets to the franchise’s only 2 NBA Final appearances in 2002 and 2003.
  • Achieved the most wins in Nets franchise history with 52 in 2001-02.
  • Scott held the Nets franchise record with 149 coaching victories before being overtaken by his replacement, Lawrence Frank. 
  • Coached the Eastern Conference in the 2003 NBA All Star Game as coach of the New Jersey Nets and the Western Conference in the 2008 NBA All Star Game as coach of the New Orleans Hornets.


  • NBA Coach of the Year in 2008 (New Orleans Hornets)

Notable players coached:

Kenyon Martin, Jason Kidd, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, Baron Davis, David West, J.R. Smith, Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler, Peja Stojakovic, Darren Collison, Ramon Sessions, Anderson Varejao, Luke Walton, Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving.

Coaching Style: 

  • Runs the Princeton Offense which stresses constant motion, passing,  enforcing setting many picks including off the ball to free up players for back door cuts.
  • Has been criticized as lacking creativity on offense
  • Slow paced offense
  • Defensive minded
  • Runs hard practices and very demanding.
  • Rigid game planner. Has been criticized as inflexible.


Fun facts:

  • Grew up just blocks from the Lakers home arena, The Great Western Forum, in Inglewood, CA.
  • Was said to be shy as a teenager in high school.
  • Graduated from Morningside High School in Inglewood, CA.
  • Won 3 NBA Championships as a player with the Lakers (1985, 1987 and 1988)
  • Coached Jason Kidd and the Nets against Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’ Neal and the Lakers in the 2002 NBA Finals. Lakers swept the Nets in 4 games.
  • Was coach of the New Orleans Hornets when they shared residence in Oklahoma City between 2005 and 2007.
  • In his final season as a player in 1996-97, played with and mentored Kobe Bryant who was in his rookie season with the Lakers.
  • Kyrie Irving revered Scott who coached him in his first 2 seasons in the league. Irving stated the following to reporters following the Cavs firing Scott in 2013.

“I feel like a piece of me is missing,” Irving said . “I’m trying to get over the loss of my basketball father.” 


 Not so fun facts: 

  • There were reports that Byron Scott and Jason Kidd did not get along during their time in New Jersey. Following a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in a tough season in 2004, reports were that Kidd lashed out at both the team and coach Scott. While denied by Kidd, many believe it was Kidd that went to management to request that Scott be let go.
  • Reports were that Scott had equal problems with another point guard, Baron Davis, during his time in New Orleans, which eventually led to Davis being traded to the Golden State Warriors.

– Fern Rea

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Writer & NBA fan who’s been hooked since the days of Magic v Bird. Love basketball debates without it ending in a knife fight. My BBall nickname: “Todo El Dia” (All Day.) Hit me up on Twitter @fullcourtfern or Instagram: @raining3sdotcom