Byron Scott Unlikely to Have Good Options, Unless Phil Jackson Retires
Not that either Sacramento or Minnesota are glamorous jobs, but they were rebuilding teams with low expectations, much like the Hornets were when Scott first came to New Orleans. This summer? I imagine the Nets job will be available, but that bridge has been ashes for ages. The Pacers and Grizzlies will be the other most likely openings, barring a surprise retirement from Jerry Sloan, Don Nelson or Larry Brown.
But there's one job Scott has always been tied to that could also become available and happens to be pretty plush: the one currently filled by Phil Jackson.
That Lakers job now enters the picture as Scott's best prospect by far. A year ago, Scott told the Los Angeles Times he holds the Lakers organization in the utmost regard, and thinks about coaching the team "often." While Jackson seemed to simultaneously groom in-house assistants Kurt Rambis and Brian Shaw, Scott would certainly be a top-tier candidate from the outside if Phil were to retire.
And now, one hurdle has fallen: Scott has no other great option, nor a paying job. Jackson is in Sloan mode, judging whether he can handle another grinding season on the fly. He's paid $12 million this season, and has talked about wrapping up his career. Having won his 10th title -- and passing Red Auerbach on the championship coaching list -- would seem to provide some sort of shove off to the ranch.
Of course, Rambis thought enough of either Jackson's continued passion for coaching or the organization's love of Shaw (or some combination of the two) to take his chances in Minneapolis. I suppose over the next nine months we'll see how Scott fits into that equation, and whether Shaw should take the next head coaching job he's offered.