Lakers head coach search: Kobe Bryant is priority, Byron Scott interviewed

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Lakers general manager shed light on the Lakers coaching search after going silent since Mike D'Antoni's resignation.

The Los Angeles Lakers have moved on from the NBA Draft Lottery and are gearing up to dive into their head coach search. General manager Mitch Kupchak spoke with reporters via conference call and told media the team has officially begun interviewing candidates. USA TODAY's Sam Amick has a detailed report on the call you can read here.

The team's priority is to find a coach that can maximize Kobe Bryant's productivity, Kupchak told media. Here's Amick with the full quote:

"We have to make sure that whoever we hire as a coach really gets the most productivity out of (Bryant), whether it's scoring the ball or play-making or the threat that he may score," Kupchak said. "That's probably of primary importance right now. (Bryant) has been over here (at the team's practice facility) working out, and he looks good."

Bryant has been off the court since Dec. 17, but seems to look good per Kupchak. Good enough for him to suggest an offense with post possessions funneled to their franchise player would be ideal.

The team met with Byron Scott on Tuesday, according to Amick. Scott has been an analyst on Time Warner Cable SportsNet since being dismissed by the Cleveland Cavaliers and was one of the first names mentioned once Mike D'Antoni resigned.

Kupchak has also interviewed former Lakers head coach Mike DunleavyYahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier in the day. This is the third straight time the team has reached out to Dunleavy when the head coaching position was vacant. Dunleavy resigned from the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2009-2010 season and has been out of the league since.

The Lakers don't expect to have a new head coach in place within the next two-to-three weeks and called it a "deliberate process," but the draft is just over four weeks away. Kupchak didn't outright rule out having a coach in place by the draft, but didn't commit to it, either.

The team's coaching search has some direction now but doesn't appear to be close to ending. Let the interview updates begin.

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