(The Sports Xchange) - Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott expects to be back with the team next season despite a franchise-worst 17-65 record in 2015-16 that followed a 21-61 record the previous season.
“Absolutely,” Scott said on Friday, two days after Kobe Bryant scored 60 points to end his 20-year NBA career in spectacular fashion and defeat the Utah Jazz 101-96 at Staples Center.
Scott, a former Laker player who won three NBA championships with the franchise in the 1980s, said he has not been given assurances that he will coach the team next season.
”I don’t need that,“ Scott said. ”There’s going to come a time where we’re going to talk, I do understand that, and I do understand this business.
”As I told you (media) from day one, and it’s still to this day, this is my dream job. This is my dream job, and obviously, you want the opportunity to turn it all around, and you hope you get that. But I understand the business of basketball. It’s all about wins and losses, and I understand that as well.
“But I think over the last couple of years, the process that we’ve tried to implement is in place, and obviously, this summer is an awfully big summer for us, and I‘m looking forward to it as the head coach of the team until they tell me differently.”
Scott eventually will sit down with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and part-owner and executive vice president Jim Buss to discuss his future.
The Lakers have until June 1 to decide whether Scott will be retained, as per terms of his contract, according to the Los Angeles Times. He has one more guaranteed year for about $4 million.
The Lakers have been in rebuilding mode since Bryant ruptured his Achilles in April 2013.
”I think Byron has done an excellent job under the circumstances that he’s had to deal with the last two years,“ Kupchak said Friday. ”This year in particular was a difficult year for a coach to wade his way through.
”He’s under contract, and if anything changes, we’ll be the first to let you know. Everybody gets reviewed. I‘m sure over the last 16 years, behind closed doors, people were talking about me and reviewing me as well.
“Anything is possible. Right now, all I anticipate is some informal meetings and then moving forward from there.”
Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes