There is an understandable reverence among Lakers fans for Jerry Buss.
The late owner ran the franchise in a top-notch manner, so many of his moves turning to gold.
One that didn’t work, at least how the Lakers hoped: Hiring Mike Brown.
But, according to Magic Johnson, Brown was not Buss’ top choice.
Byron Scott, the Lakers’ newest coach, was.
Johnson, via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:
“Dr. Buss was going to make Byron the coach when Phil didn’t know what he was going to do” in 2010, said Johnson. “Byron took the Cleveland job, and he took it too early. I called and said: ‘B., you took the job too early. Dr. Buss wanted you to be the coach.”
It all worked out as well as could be reasonably expected for everyone involved.
The post-Jackson Lakers were never talented and healthy enough to win with any significance anyway. Neither Brown nor Scott was going to make a difference.
Scott got an extra year of salary, coaching his first season with the Cavaliers while Jackson completed his final year in Los Angeles. And though his Cleveland teams struggled, that didn’t prevent him from getting the job he wanted all along.