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Byron Scott: Right guy for the job, but what are the expectations?

Pro BasketballBasketballByron ScottLos Angeles LakersKobe BryantStaples CenterJeremy Lin
Does Byron Scott have a realistic chance of transforming the Lakers into championship contenders?
Byron Scott will face a tough challenge in helping the Lakers climb to the top of the Western Conference

The Lakers won’t win the NBA championship next season.

Too much age. Too many injury questions. Too much Western Conference.

And unless they get a much-needed infusion from the free-agent market next summer (Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge?), they won’t be in the title hunt in 2015-16, the final season of Kobe Bryant’s contract.

It’s why hiring a former Lakers player is a sensible move for the franchise from a PR standpoint.

It’s hard to imagine any “Fire Byron” chants from the upper levels of Staples Center. No more “We Want Phil!” shouts from dissatisfied fans.

A coach with three championships as a Lakers player should buy some time for a franchise that sorely needs it.

But … there's ... reality.

There’s not much Scott, 53, can do with a roster that has an aging backcourt of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, along with a couple of recent castoffs from other teams (Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer).

There will be some youthful vigor from Julius Randle and possibly second-round draft pick Jordan Clarkson, but any wisdom Scott has accumulated through the years as a player and coach might mean only marginal changes in the win column for a team that won 27 games last season.

As a sweet-shooting player, Scott averaged a career-high 21.7 points and 4.1 assists a game as the Lakers won the second of back-to-back titles in the 1987-1988 season.

There might be times he wished he could revisit those days next season. Wouldn’t blame him.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Pro BasketballBasketballByron ScottLos Angeles LakersKobe BryantStaples CenterJeremy Lin
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