Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who's next?

Here we are about halfway through the LeBron wait and the picture is no more clear than it was two weeks ago. No one knows, maybe not even LeBron James, where the superstar is going to play basketball for at least the next three years.

And we still don't know who is going to replace Mike Brown as the Cavaliers' head coach. We do know it won't be Tom Izzo, who wisely chose to remain at Michigan State in a move that surprised some. It will be a move, however, that Izzo will not regret. He was the kind of coach the Cavs did not need. Thanks again for saying no, coach.

As it stands, rumors are flying that the job is Byron Scott's if he wants it. Problem is Scott doesn't know if he wants it. That's because the job he really wants, at least if you believe all the reports, is the Lakers' gig. And who could blame him. Consecutive NBA titles, a core group that could add maybe a couple of more rings.

Phil Jackson, as it turns out, has the fate of two teams in his hands. How he charts his immediate future will impact on the Lakers and Cavaliers. If the Lakers coach decides to stay despite having his $12 million contract practically halved, Scott most likely turns a much more covetous eye toward the Cavs.

And why wouldn't Jackson remain? He has one more goal despite the fact he has coached more NBA champs than anyone in league history. It's strictly a matter of numbers.

The big fella took the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. He has only five title rings in L.A. One more and his name will be immortalized in the annals of the NBA, as if it weren't already. But the symmetry of six rings in Chicago and another six in L.A. cements the legacy.

So right now, the Cavaliers most likely are holding their breaths in hopes Jackson decides to helm the Lakers one more time and free up Scott. If that's the case, however, they had be ready to ante up big for his services.

If I'm Byron Scott, I'm asking for $3 million a year minimum. If Izzo can fetch $6 million per annum from Dan Gilbert, Scott should be worth at least half that. After all, he's done something Izzo hasn't: Coached in the NBA. And successfully.

Furthermore, I believe Scott is the only coach LeBron would feel comfortable playing for. His four championship rings is ample enough proof that he knows what it takes to win championships.

And isn't that what LeBron is all about?

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