The Los Angeles Lakers finished their season with an unforgettable win and 60-point performance from Kobe Bryant. Lost in all the (justified) hoopla from the unbelievable night was that the victory was just Los Angeles' 17th of the season, their third consecutive season in the lottery, and their third consecutive season setting a new low for worst regular season record in franchise history.
The Lakers ranked second to last in the league in offensive efficiency and last in the league in defensive efficiency, both of which have led many to assume that Lakers head coach Byron Scott will be let go at some point this offseason. However, beginning before the final game and continuing afterwards, reports were mounting that the Lakers would retain their beleaguered head coach.
First, Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times said there was a chance Scott would be brought back, and then Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported Lakers president Jeanie Buss was pushing for Scott to keep his job behind the scenes as part of a plan to bring back Phil Jackson. Then, tucked away in his recap of Kobe's magical final night, Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reported that there was a "strong belief" that the Lakers would keep Scott:
Coach Byron Scott has a team option on his contract for next season, league sources told The Vertical, and there's strong belief within the organization that he'll be brought back next season. For now, there's too much discord in ownership to generate a consensus on making a coaching change, sources said.
Such inability to generate consensus matches up with an earlier report the organization was "torn" on whether or not to keep Scott.
No matter how unlikely it seems the Lakers could keep a man widely recognized as one of the worst head coaches in the history of the league, a coach with more losses than any other man to coach 1,000 NBA games (per Basketball Reference), it sounds like that is now a distinct possibility. How harmful that would be for the organization going forward remains to be seen, but it certainly doesn't inspire confidence in the direction of the franchise.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.