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Byron Scott says he's a 'perfect fit' for Lakers' coaching position

Pro BasketballByron ScottLos Angeles LakersKobe BryantJerry BussNew Orleans PelicansKurt Rambis
Byron Scott says he's a 'perfect fit' for the Lakers' head-coaching vacancy, has met with team executives

On Tuesday, Byron Scott interviewed with the Lakers for the team's open head coaching position.

"To say the least, I thought it was a perfect fit," Scott said Thursday on ESPN LA radio to Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley.

Scott said he met with owner/executive Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

"The interview went well. I had a great time talking with Jim and Mitch," Scott said. "I know Mitch, obviously, extremely well. I know the Buss family and Jim pretty well."

The Lakers are still early in the interviewing process, but Scott said he came away from the meeting feeling positive about his chances.

"I left the room feeling pretty good about the way it went," he said. "I don't feel I'm a very arrogant guy, but I think that I am the perfect guy for this job. I've got a great relationship with Kobe. I know the team. I know the roster. I watched them all season long."

Scott spent most of the past season on Time Warner Cable SportsNet as an analyst, commenting on the Lakers as they managed just 27 wins.

In addition to his 11 seasons with the Lakers as a player (including one with Kobe Bryant as a rookie), Scott led the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn) to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances as a head coach.

Scott has also coached the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) and Cleveland Cavaliers.

He said he's confident Bryant will have a strong season after sitting out 76 games this past year with knee and Achilles injuries.

"I think he's going to come back with a vengeance," Scott said.  "Will he be the Kobe of old? I don't think anybody expects him to be that guy that can just dominates a game -- but I think he'll be pretty close to it."

The Lakers have just five players under contract next season but Nick Young is expected to opt out to explore free agency. Steve Nash has spent most of his two years with the Lakers sidelined with injuries. Kendall Marshall's minimum contract is non-guaranteed.

"There's a lot of holes to fill but, unlike a lot of people that think this is a three- or four-year process, I really don't think so," Scott said. "Mitch has done a fantastic job. I think Jim really has a good idea where they want to go and what direction they want to head in. I don't think it's going to take three or four years. I think it might take a couple of years at most."

Scott said he wasn't fond of the team's defensive performance last season under Mike D'Antoni.

"The thing that irked me the most was the points that they were giving up on the defensive end," he said. "It was disheartening because that's not the type of organization that we remember. ... Every major sport, defense wins championships."

Scott said the Lakers job would mean a lot to him personally.

"I bleed purple and gold," he said. "One of the main reasons I would love to coach this team, because of Dr. Buss and what he meant to me. Just the fact that I played for that organization. I know what it means to be a Laker."

Jerry Buss, who owned the Lakers for decades, died in February 2013.

The Lakers have also interviewed Mike Dunleavy Sr. for the position and could have a long list of other coaching candidates, including Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Kurt Rambis, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Billy Donovan, Nate McMillan, Lionel Hollins, Ettore Messina and former Laker Derek Fisher.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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