Tuesday Reading: Hardwood Hype on Byron Scott

Darius Soriano —  October 18, 2011

We love looking back at past eras and players here at FB&G. Whether celebrating the many legends or critical role players that have donned the Laker colors, it’s always nice to go back in time and remember the accomplishments of those that contributed so much to the success of the Laker franchise.

And in that vein, Emile Avanessian of Hardwood Hype has put together a must read piece on Byron Scott. An excerpt to wet your palette:

Though beloved in Lakerland, nationally Scott is remembered more as a role player, fortunate for the circumstance in which he found himself, than as one of the best offensive guards of the 1980s.

The 9,053 points he scored in his first seven NBA seasons (1983-84- 1989-90) qualified Scott as one of the NBA’s ten most prolific backcourt scorers during that stretch. Of that group, only four players- Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Rolando Blackman and Scott- shot better than 50% from the field. In terms of True Shooting Percentage, only the aforementioned trio, along with Dale Ellis, equaled Scott’s 56.2% mark.

Of the ten best scoring guards of the era, only Sleepy Floyd (20.7% Usage Rate) required the ball less frequently than Scott (21.6%), and only Jeff Malone (8.9% Turnover Rate) and Ellis (10.1%) turned the ball over less frequently. And while he was hardly a box score stuffer in the mold of Magic, Scott ranked in the top third of starting guards in steals (15th), defensive rebounds (14th) and total rebounds (16th).

Not the top pick in the draft like three of his fellow starters, Scott arrived in the NBA as a blue-chip prospect in his own right. A McDonald’s All-American out of Inglewood’s Morningside High in 1979, he was selected fourth overall out of Arizona State by the San Diego Clippers in the 1983 draft, and cost the Lakers (who, in fairness, also needed to clear the PG spot for Magic) an All-Star guard in Norm Nixon.

I know, I know. Scott got to play with Magic, and Magic made everyone better. This is irrefutable. Even in the context of his own team, however, Scott is omitted from the top tier of contributors. He’s remembered more as a first-class passenger than a vital cog in the engine.

Emille offers up much more to properly frame Scott’s time as a Laker and I suggest you take the time to go read the entire article. Not only does it give proper credit to a vital part to one of the great eras of Laker basketball, but it includes one of the best clips of Scott filling the lane I’ve seen.

Darius Soriano

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