LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days.
Scott said this weekend that he has been hired by the Lakers, but the club insisted Sunday that no deal has been reached.
Scott, who won three NBA titles as a shooting guard for the Lakers, told KCBS-TV he will take over the club, which hasn’t had a coach since Mike D’Antoni resigned April 30.
“It feels fantastic,” he told KCBS. “This is a dream come true. I always wanted to coach the Lakers, especially when I got to coaching. It’s so unreal. I have to thank (general manager) Mitch (Kupchak), (owners) Jeanie and Jim Buss to give me this opportunity.”
Yet Kupchak and the Buss siblings remained mum Sunday, extending their strange coach-less summer to the final days of July.
ESPN.com first reported Scott would take over the Lakers with a four-year, $17 million contract.
Scott is undoubtedly qualified for the job after stints as a head coach with New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland. He was Kobe Bryant’s teammate during Bryant’s rookie year with the Lakers in 1996-97, and the superstar endorsed Scott for the job earlier this month.
“He was my rookie mentor when I first came in the league, so I had to do things like get him doughnuts and run errands for him, things like that,” said Bryant, who played just six games last season. “We’ve had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years.”