SPOOF: Burrell leaving SCSU to join Los Angeles Lakers team
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Scott Burrell announced this week that he is resigning as Southern’s head basketball coach to replace Byron Scott and take the head coaching position for the Los Angeles Lakers.
It has always been Burrell’s dream to find a way back into the NBA. As a player he averaged 6.9 points per game during his 10 seasons in the league.
Burrell added that he is eager to get to Los Angeles in order to sign his deal and meet the players.
“When the Buss family called me I immediately started looking for flights to Los Angeles,” said Burrell. “I can’t wait to get out there and make this thing official.”
The news of Burrell’s hiring came shortly after the Lakers issued a press release describing why they decided to part ways with Scott. After Scott’s departure, Jerry Buss said Burrell was their number one target to turn the Lakers organization around.
Five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant thinks that Burrell can have a positive impact on young players like D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.
“I don’t know much about him, but when I spoke to him over the phone I liked the message he was preaching,” Bryant said. “We have a young team and now that I’m on my way out I want someone in here who can lead this organization. And Burrell is the man to do that.”
While the players from the Lakers are looking forward to getting a new coach, Southern’s basketball players are upset their coach and mentor is leaving them after just one season.
Freshman Joey Wallace was not happy to hear that Burrell was leaving behind the Owls to join the L.A. Lakers.
“One of the big reasons I came to Southern was because of Coach Burrell, and the fact he’s leaving after one season is very disappointing,” said Wallace. “I understand that he got a great opportunity with the Lakers, but I feel a little betrayed.”
Wallace was not the only Owl that felt betrayed. Junior Austin Carter is considering transferring from Southern, with UConn being a possible destination for NE-10’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“I really thought we were building something special here and for Burrell to abruptly leave like this is uncalled for,” Carter said. “My family and I are currently looking at other schools for my senior year. If there’s no Burrell I can’t promise I’ll be here next year.”
Those are strong words coming from one of the more prominent players on the team. Burrell knew some of his players might be upset, but he hoped they would understand why he made the decision to leave Southern.
“I feel bad for these kids, I really do,” said Burrell when referring to his former team. “I made a promise to them that I wouldn’t leave, but I hope they understand that an NBA coaching job is something that I’ve always dreamed of. I couldn’t pass an opportunity like this up.”
On the Lakers front, Russell is eagerly awaiting Burrell’s arrival as he has expressed his disdain for Scott’s system.
“I think Burrell can change the entire complexion of this team,” said Russell. “He’s been in the NBA before and from what I’ve seen, he has a great basketball mind. We can’t wait to have him down here.”
The suddenness of Burrell’s departure has the team in frenzy. Southern has not yet started to look for a new coach, but Athletic Director Jay Moran is expected to begin searching for the basketball team’s new head coach.
Furthermore, Burrell’s assistant Michael Papale is expected to join Burrell in Los Angeles and hold the same role as assistant coach.
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor
This article was apart of the Spoof April Fool’s Series. Story information and sources presented are fictional.