Report: Lakers To Hire Byron Scott as Head Coach

Darius Soriano —  July 26, 2014

On Friday the reports were that the Lakers had offered Byron Scott the head coaching job and that negotiations had ensued. On Saturday, reports are that a deal has been struck to name the former Lakers’ guard as their new head coach:

So, after nearly 3 months and as many interviews, the Lakers have found their man.

If you’re a supporter of Scott being tabbed for this job, odds are your argument mirrors many of the points made in this article. Byron has had success in his coaching career, taking the Nets to back to back Finals. He also did well with a young Hornets team, leading them to the playoffs multiple times. The man also has a history with Kobe Bryant, mentoring him when he first came into the league and acting as a confidant over the years.

This relationship matters. Just as the foundation of him being a “Laker” matters. Scott knows the ins and outs of the organization, having won championships with the team as a player and worked for their broadcast partner this past season. He understands what it means to navigate the expectations of the city and its fans, how work under the pressure that comes with being a part of the organization. If you’re looking at Scott as the solution, odds are you saw previous coaches and other candidates as not properly speaking to or recognizing these pitfalls.

Of course, if you follow my writing on this site or on twitter, you know that I do not put as much weight in these areas as others. Of course they matter, but not to the point that they should be the key part of any argument. In my mind coaching is about a combination of tactical superiority mixed with the ability to generate and maintain buy-in. You can have the perfect back-story heading into a situation, but if you can’t out-scheme an opponent while getting your players to do what you ask of them, it’s not going to matter. You will not succeed.

And this is where I have my questions about Scott. When Scott’s name was first mentioned as a potential coach, this is (part of) what I wrote:

Scott, to me, is a guy who has not shown to be enough of a tactician over the course of his coaching career, often lacking in ability to make adjustments or build schemes that optimize the play of his role players. Sure, Scott seemed to do well enough when Jason Kidd and Chris Paul orchestrated his offenses, but beyond putting the ball in those players’ hands and letting them do what they do best, Scott underwhelmed. Further, his last stop in Cleveland has done his reputation no favors as he steered the Cavs to three consecutive losing seasons while also boasting an NBA worst 26 game losing streak in his last campaign. Scott hasn’t sniffed a head coaching job since then.

Beyond that, Scott’s reputation has a coach who can overwork his players — much in the mold of his mentor Pat Riley — is well known. Long, hard practices have been the norm for Scott and that can start to wear on a team — especially if they’re losing. Add to this that, despite good relationships with Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, Scott seemed to start to get tuned out by his players at every previous stop and it is a legitimate concern that he is more of a Scott Skiles type of coach who isn’t really long for any one job for longer than the length of one contract.

All that said, Scott is the choice. He should get his chance to prove his critics wrong; to show that he can improve areas where he’s not been as successful while maintaining some of the things he has done well. My hope, of course, is that he is able to do just that and lead the team back to prominence. This is the nature of being a fan — rooting for the success of the team comes with the territory. I have my doubts that will happen, not all of which are related to him, it should be added.

Ultimately, though, any feelings I have about Scott aren’t really relevant now. Would I have preferred a different approach to hiring the coach? Would I have liked if the process was more open and not limited to coaches with “previous NBA head coaching experience”? Would I have sought out younger, less retread-y candidates who could, theoretically, grow with a franchise in transition and lead them into the next era of Lakers’ basketball rather than trying to extend the current one? Yes, yes, and yes. But those things aren’t really about Byron, they are about the process. He didn’t control that, the people who hired him did.

What Byron will control, though, are the lineups, offensive and defensive schemes, minute allocations, and the functioning of the locker room. It will be on him to decide how much or little Kobe Bryant plays, how much veterans should get time over younger players, and how to best develop the talent he has at his disposal. It will be on him to navigate expectations and balance short term success with long term goals and the overall health of the franchise moving forward. He will be that steward who has been given the keys at a time that, for all intents and purposes, may be one of the more important in recent franchise history.

This Lakers’ team is squarely at the stage where they are clearly not a contender for a championship but still trying to win games and do so while looking for cornerstone young players who can carry the torch after Kobe Bryant retires. That is one of the finest lines to walk as an organization and, more often than not, ends up being impossible. Whether he is up to the task of being the guy who steers the ship during this time remains to be seen, but I think it’s more than fair to question if he is.

His history as a coach makes this so. Even if his history as a Laker makes some fans want to overlook it.

Darius Soriano

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108 responses to Report: Lakers To Hire Byron Scott as Head Coach

  1. I just tweeted this but… If I wanted to love a team that overpaid past-prime vets, struggled to make the playoffs and hired unwanted retread coaches I would have been born in Atlanta.

  2. Lakers Arising July 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Byron is a paladin of the Laker grail. Up to this point the FO thought they could forego the power of the purple and gold…But in times of need, there is no place else to go…The passing of the Jerry has left a tremendous void, and, yet, untold power to be tapped. Hence, the necessity of hiring a paladin…

    There are five known secret levels of powers to be tapped in the Lakers time of need. Some say there are seven since the passing of the Wilt…but there still remain five now strengthened by the Wilt’s passing and the Johnson’s passing to a f’ing baseball owner…We must wait for the declension of the Kobe to truly compound the the seventh level of Laker power. Hence, you fans, the Kobe’s tremendous contract…Fear not his body, his power shall be compounded seven fold….

    That’s why we hired Byron. Knowing who you are is a powerful tool. We’re circling our wagons and returning to our power.

  3. Aaron, why did you change your handle?

  4. Re: tactician, overworking, relationships, etc, I’d just say, first, that the views of those who played under him and/or know him well like KB, Kyrie, CP3 have to carry more weight than this analysis. Looking at his resume as a coach, I think it is comparable to many quality guys, ranging from Dunleavy to Karl, et al, albeit not as lengthy a resume, in this sense: when he had a quality team/good players at multiple positions, his teams won. When he had weak rosters or just one good player, etc, his teams lost. Three years in Cleveland don’t prove much: that was a franchise in disarray with but a single important player on the roster. Prior to those three years, his record was solid. Re: tactician, he has training from some of he best, trust from some of the best, and more years or maturity, and a huge drive to succeed at this. And his track record and potential both are way better than the last two guys they hired anyway. what ‘better tacticians’ are currently available to them? Karl? I like him, a lot. but this roster doesn’t fit his style of play, and more importantly, he is no long term solution. Age and health mean he won’t be around a long time. Dunleavy: i can make the same arguments, and more, you make about Byron about Dunleavy, and besides, he once quit on the Lakers. There are no Phils available today, no Riley’s. I would love Larry Brown if he were younger, he’s a turnaround specialist, but he’s not younger. A vibrant young man with a solid resume, respected by leading players who know him and who have played for him, with connections to the team and the family is a far better choice than the last two. And they will at least be trying to rebound and play defense and not claiming that being out-rebounded by 20 had nothing to do with the outcome of a game. This roster at this level doesn’t need some ‘master tactician.’ they need a hard working, hard nosed motivator and leader that every man on the roster will respect and play hard for. I think they achieved that with this hire.

  5. Warren Wee Lim July 26, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Byron’s contract with us is 4 years too long. I have been open to dislike the idea of the hire, as Byron brings nothing new to the table that the Lakers can bring forth past 2016. But I will not be like most haters who continue to harp on his weaknesses like we did D’Antoni.

    Just saying that I fully expect the team to perform, just don’t like Scott.

  6. That post is nothing at all like Aaron, but it is a nice piece of internet performance art.

    As I said, I would have preferred that the Lakers take a chance on a guy with no previous NBA HC exp. and given him a shot to see what he can do. But Scott is more or less OK with me, since this roster is not strong anyway. What I will be looking for:

    1. The best teams that Scott was on under Riley played tight rotations
    –7 or 8 guys. I have not researched Scott’s player usage history but many times guys coach like they played. This team would be better off with a 10-11 man rotation.
    2. Two of the things Kobe needs from a coach right now are two things he might not like–a willingness to manage his minutes and a willingness to get in his grill about his D. D’Antoni, understandably trying to avoid coaching a 100M lottery team back in 2013, was the exact opposite, running Kobe out there 47 minutes a game and letting him rest on D. One big reason for the hire was Scott’s relationship with Kobe, and that needs to be leveraged for the good of the team by getting Kobe to buy-in on playing 28-30 MPG and putting out better effort on defense.
    3. How Scott handles Carlos Boozer, and how much burn Davis, Randle, and Kelly get. I think it is a cinch that Scott will say that the team’s goal is to make the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean that the right thing to do is to start Boozer and play him 32-34 MPG.

  7. Byron’s contract with us is 4 years too long

    The 4th year is a team option.

  8. I think he will do the best he can. Because what ever your opinion is doesn’t matter.

  9. Guess we won’t be Reading any Scott interviews this year on Forum Blue. Just kidding.

    I think we all heard the issues of working his players too hard. NJ was his first job and he tried too hard. I also heard a lot of problems with players there. Some very strong willed vets were on that team. Ego’s battling. Is spite of the issues they made it to the finals. Based on Kidd’s off court issues and the act he pulled to ditch his team thisv year, I am backing Scott not Jason. I don’t think Kidd is a quality guy.

    I also have been told Bryon has learned a lot. I feel he has mellowed. I feel this is his dream job and with Kobe’s help he will do a good job. His job with Time Warner was sort of a test to see if he had mellowed based on his attorney. Worthy was much tougher on MDA then Bryon. Give him a couple of strong, quality coaches and this can work. hearing Gary Patton, Worthy and other top names.

    This could be Bryon last shot and dream job. He will do anything or everything to make it work. As a employer myself, that’s enough for me. Give me a guy who really cares and is willing to do what it takes to succeed. BScott will be fine.

  10. I’ll take what post number 2 is having.

  11. @rr
    Geez! Up to now you’re still misinformed about MDA playing Kobe for 47mins.?!
    Kobe himself answered this numerous times, that he has no choice but to play longer because he needs to step up with the injuries of Nash and others to help the team win.
    You are misinformed about it. Dunno if you are reading those articles/video interviews or just ignoring all the facts.

  12. I really like this team, put me down to say they will take the 7th spot in the west

  13. You are misinformed about it


    D’Antoni was the coach. Coaches decide who plays, and how long. It is tougher with a big star like Kobe, but the bottom line is that D’Antoni was in charge, and it was his call. End of story. Those are the facts.

    And you missed a key word in the post–I said “understandably.” Given where the Lakers were then, I can see why D’Antoni went along with it, and part of it was on the FO for doing a bad job constructing the bench.

    But, in any case, D’Antoni is a dead issue. The Lakers decided to pay D’Antoni to go away rather than re-upping him for two years, and when asked what he thought of D’Antoni leaving, Kobe said, “I don’t really care.” Your pro-MDA narrative is dead. Move on.

  14. To me, this was a make-or-break off season for the Jimmy Buss regime We stank last year and had all year long to plan the future. Positives: not a tax team this year and avoided the repeater penalties; kept Nash so his entire salary comes off the books next year; some (but not all) short term contracts to free up space next year and 2016. Negatives: many, and most came from deviating from the things that were positives, as if Jimmy didn’t have his Dad’s guts to go all in. Byron is the latest negative, as you astutely point out, as was Boozer.

    Retread coach with a mediocre (at best) resume. He took an Eastern team to the finals! Big whoop, so did Mike Brown, and that turned out well. Scott set an NBA record for a 30 team league by having 3 straight years of bottom 5 defenses (Cle). In one year. Mike Brown had them in the middle of the pack. Scott is so uninspiring that it is clear that no elite FA will come here because of him.

    That last point is crucial. The Lakers tradition is what is supposed to attract FAs. So, how has that tradition worked for the Oakland Raiders? The parallels are alarming. Father owner declining and making mistakes at the end (Jerry allegedly chose D’Antoni; Al Davis and his nutso draft picks), then passed away, leaving the team to a son who had no success in life other than being the son of a famous and rich man. Both teams are like a fading Hollywood star relying on past glory days for one more paycheck (do I hear Expendables 4?).

    So, Jimmy needed to have a clear-eyed look and start to build young talent to succeed Kobe (don’t get me started on that ridiculous contract). So instead they pursue Melo/Lebron, when any realistic assessment says no way either would come. Why not get creative and try to get Bledsoe/Monroe with poison pill contracts, as Dallas did with Parsons or Charlotte with Lance? Add Randle and Clarkson to those (nice picks, Mitch), and that’s a team that could attract good FAs next year or 2016.

    Barring that, stink again to try to keep the pick (top 5 protected) that we gifted Phoenix, play young guys for their long term benefit and try out some new parts. Instead, we get Boozer, who is crappy enough that we won’t make the playoffs (for a first round exit, no doubt) but not so crappy that we keep the pick.

    Hire a young coach to grow with the young team (DFish is a prime example), not a tired retread with a lousy resume.

    A frustrating off season of missed opportunities, proving what we already knew – 10 guys in a bar can tell you that Jimmy Buss is over his head.

  15. NJ’SBiggestLakerFanatic July 27, 2014 at 3:44 am

    This hire to me is strictly a PR move do to the large television contract the Lakers have. This team needs to be interesting if not good and bringing back “one of our own” fits the bill. Let’s be honest Jim Buss had no clue and never will so I’m seeing at least 5-10 years of mediocrity. Maybe when Pat Riley retires we can hire him as a consultant. Let’s hope for the best but be realistic , Kobe will probably not get that 6th ring :(

  16. Agree with the general sentiment of the article, and I think that’s the limit of our current ownership and GM. Nobody wants a contract that’s for 2 or 3 years… that would ensure players tune them out almost immediately. Except Kobe has been fairly good about giving coaches their time to prove themselves, at least publicly and at least for a year or so. But who knows, maybe it was the only candidate Kobe was comfortable with gambling his final two years.

    Anyway, i think rebuilding through the draft is a myth anyway. The only team that can claim to have done that is San Antonio, and even then it was a fluke with Robinson getting injured and them netting probably one of the best talents ever in Tim Duncan. Cleveland could not win one despite winning LeBron, and I don’t recall ANY team that went on to win the championship with their lottery pick, other than perhaps the Mavericks that took a helluva long time doing so and the Heat who were gifted Shaq in almost-prime status.

    So I am on board with the FO’s fixation in getting proven talent through trades or FA signings. Just a matter of having enough cheap serviceable pieces to lure them. Kobe’s contract makes it pretty difficult, but oh well, both parties deserved what they got.

  17. I think Scott is one of the majority of NBA head coaches who are neither great nor terrible.

    As Kobe has pointed out there are very few truly great coaches around. The trend among the other teams that were hiring this offseason was to give new guys a chance. I actually found almost every other hiring more intriguing than ours because there’s always that chance that someone might be the next great coach. Then again, they could also turn out to be terrible.

    The Lakers went with the low-risk option of hiring an experienced guy who has also made it very clear that he wants to coach the Lakers. Even though that doesn’t come across as visionary it is fine.

    I just don’t understand why they waited so long if Scott was their guy. It doesn’t really make them look very competent and may end up hurting Scott’s authority.

  18. Nice piece Darius, and your following statement sums up the organizations current situation: “This Lakers’ team is squarely at the stage where they are clearly not a contender for a championship but still trying to win games and do so while looking for cornerstone young players who can carry the torch after Kobe Bryant retires. That is one of the finest lines to walk as an organization and, more often than not, ends up being impossible.”

    Scott’s three year contract w/ a team option 4th, tells me he will be Kobe’s last coach as a professional basketball player.

    As far as Scott’s history with the Lakers, I was disappointed in 1983 when the Lakers traded one of my favorite Lakers, Norm Nixon, for him. I held that against him until the Lakers released him 10 years (& three titles) later in 1993. Point being, I understood what the franchise was doing, even though I didn’t like it.

    I understand why the Lakers hired Scott, and this time I’m welcoming him with open arms…sorry it took so long.

    Welcome home Byron.

  19. Darius nailed it, Scott’s biggest weakness as a coach is his x’s and os, in game adjustments, and he will never be on a Phil, Pop level and with his people management and skills. But with This roster it’s not like they are expecting him to start a dynasty. So I think it’s good for both parties, Scott has had some time on the sidelines he’s had an opportunity to grow and this team gives him a little room to do that, he gets along with Kobe, and kobe seems to have accepted this is a rebuilt or we’ll say a re tune and the comments about changing his game have been thrown out there already. So I’m excited that we have a full team. If you’re really looking closely we have a very promising young team and our whole roster, save for nash is actually top to bottom much more balanced and each player has something good that they can bring to he team. It is not top heavy, rosters like OKC or Cle for example, but balanced, so if anything I’m just excited to have a full, young, healthy team full of good dudes, with a Laker show time legend running the show. We may not even get into the playoffs, but if Kobe is healthy, we have a great shot, and Julius Randle and Clarkson are enough young talent to root for, Go Lakers.

  20. Interesting “5 on 5″ NBA debate on the Laker’s hiring of Byron Scott & other issues. What can I tell you, I love reading this stuff.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-140725/does-future-hold-kobe-bryant-los-angeles-lakers

  21. 2015-2016 Lakers line-up.

    Clarkson, Kobe, Johnson, KD, Marc Gasol

    henry, Kelly, young, Pau

    With Kobe looking great, Clarkson and randle developing and looking primed for the future, the Lakers look like a great destination again. KD takes his talents to LA where he dominates and eats up the city and market taking over the nBa.

    Marc Gasol is intrigued, Pau gasol having won a ring with the bulls is also looking to re unite with his brother and brother from another mother the mamba. Kobe takes a darling deal of 2 years 7$ mil. Pau is on the last year of his deal. We give Max contracts to Gasol and KD. We still have young under contract.

    Yes the Lakers didn’t attract Melo, Lebron, or Dirk this year. But if Randle and Clarkson turn into great players which it looks like they are at least solid starters, the Lakers are going to be a prime destination with or without Kobe. I secretly hope kobe doesn’t retire and if he doesn’t get the 6th ring I don’t think he will. I hope he takes a darling deal 2-4$mil at 37-38 and that will allow the Lakers to have a top 5 of all time + 2 other all stars and solid role players like Johnson, Henry, Young, Kelly. Either way I’m excited about this year and the future.

  22. @bigcitysid you were disappointed that they got Scott and then won 3 rings? haha That’s like me saying…..shoot I was really disappointed when we got rid of Nick Van exil and Eddie Jones to make room for Kobe in the back court haha. Even tho we got 5 rings and 7 finals trips out of it.

  23. red river raider July 27, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Byron Scott is a good coach and i dont think the lakers will be as bad as all the haters say. 2 eastern conference champ games, 1 western conference champ. Appearance, with an ailing CP3. Cleveland is a non issue because of the situation they were in. Im suprised at laker fans reaction. He is not a retread, and even phil, popovic, and doc rivers lost with bad teams. If this team plays good D and kobe and boozer do what they do, all we need is one of these former 1st rounders to step up, and we WILL, win some games.

  24. So after 3 months and all the hand wringing (for reasons unknown) by the Lakers, – they have done the obvious. I have been wanting and predicting this for quite sometime (thanks for the ups in the prior thread Chearn). That said – I will repeat what I said in my original posts about this subject. Byron is the best man for the job. He is not an answer to all or even most of our problems. We are not going to be contenders this year, and I think it will be a great challenge for Byron to serve his entire 4 year term. It would have been a challenge for anyone however, and I was not expecting MD’s immediate replacement to coach us to a title. That said, Byron I believe has a better chance than anyone of lasting through this down period and actually surviving into the rebuilding. If he does not, the main reason I wanted him was to preserve some dignity to the Lakers. I also think the next 2 years will be the KB show (well I guess most of the last 18 have been as well), and who better to lead that than Byron? Lastly – this is great for the fans, the Legends, and our history – we need some of that. However, I always judge things on results and if we are going to judge Scott on his record than we may need to get ready to fire him in 2 years, which is exactly what I said would probably happen in my original posts on this subject. I think it is near 100% that Scott lasts at least 2 years, however if KB retires (still hoping he won’t), then that point “could” be another complete reset which could involve coach (especially if the record is poor). While I am very happy that this finally occurred, I certainly agree with the Scott detractors that the process was flawed and it does not make Scott look like the guy they “really wanted”. However what we will have is a guy with multiple rings, a guy who does not panic, a guy who has a great stoic look on the sidelines, and a guy who will be the best dressed/best looking coach in the league. That is a lot of stuff in common with Pat Riley and that is a good thing.

  25. red river raider July 27, 2014 at 8:42 am

    By the way, jim buss didnt hire PJ, because phil only wanted 1 year, and thats from phil himself. The lakers wanted multiple years so, the went with,MDA. The media is killing ownership but laker fan forget randy pfund, magic, tomjanovich. All on dr buss’ watch.. jim buss is ok he is just new. I believe we are in good hands. I hate to see lakers fans in despair, patience, we are in good hands. There is no quick fix, but me, a loyal fan, i hate to lose but, i am at total peace with this rebuild/kobe exodus. Relax laker fans, have a lil confidence in the organization that allways comes through, more sooner than later. Faith.

  26. red river raider July 27, 2014 at 8:55 am

    One more thing. Did anyone notice the players wanna go home or close to it? Lebron, cleveland. Melo, new york. Wait til west coaster wanna come home. The likes of westbrook, harden, love, derozan, etc… just wait. P.S. Kevin Love wont even extend with cleveland, whats that all about.

  27. @ chris y, my disappointment was the Lakers moving Norm Nixon, who was an intregral part of their championship teams in ’79-’80 & ’81-’82, the first two of the Showtime Era Lakers. Nixon averaged 17.6 ppg / 7.8 apg & 17.6/ 8.0 respectfully those two seasons. As a matter of fact Nixon actually co-led the Lakers (w/ Kareem) during the ’81-’82 post season championship run w/ a 20.4 ppg average.

    So yes, I was sad to see him traded. Never stated I was disappointed w/ the Laker’s success, just that Norm wasn’t a part of the last three.

  28. Nice post Mr. clutch. I wore your number in HS.

    So what your saying is Jimmy is like the girl with fat legs who keeps wearing mini-skirts or that guy who keeps trying to pick up the hot chick while wearing blue pants with brown shoes and a green Mickey a Mouse Watch. Or maybe the guy who claims he is a 6 HC(Michal Jorden) yet never breaks 90

    So Lakers led by Jimmy Boy are in deep denial. Wasted time chasing superstars(ended up with leftovers) waiting for super savior coach to appear(rumor is Jimmy watched Hoosiers and Hackmen 20 times to learn the game) and ended up with a retread. And hoisted the hopes of us fans and the next few years on aging Kobe, aged throwaways like Boozer and AARP members like Nash.

    Thanks Mr. clutch for ruining my summer and hopes. You used to be my fav growing up.

    What next your going to tell me I am not winning power ball and I have to keep working? The truth is very ugly.

  29. I just don’t understand why they waited so long if Scott was their guy. It doesn’t really make them look very competent ..

    Exactly .. Could the reason – which I happen to believe – have been that the FO was holding off on bringing in a HC until the dust had settled in regards to ‘Bron and, to a lesser extent, Melo? Or – as some within our FB&G Community has stated – could it have been that they were under the belief that, with all of the turmoil that’s going on with our co-tenants, there was an slight, outside chance that we could snatch Glenn Rivers (sorry, but there’s only 1 Doc in my eyes and his last name happens to be Erving) from under there noses?

    Hopefully, – since it’s quite obvious that, as Robert predicted, Scott was their man from the jump – during the introductory press conference, we can get an answer to the simple question: What took so long?

  30. Perhaps Jimmy was concerned with hiring a coach with the initials BS and how it might reflect on him?

  31. Like i said before, even with his flaws Byron Scott is a better coach than MDA and Mike Brown combined. I was all for Scott hiring from the get-go, the FO didn’t want a rookie coach, i wasn’t totally opposed to it but as soon things get dicey and they will, that rookie coach would get nailed to a cross by a large segment of the fanbase. I don’t think they wanted MDA redux with the fans and media. Byron was the obvious choice and the safest choice, no matter what people say, the next Saint Riley or the next Zen Master were not walking thru the Lakers door. Think it’s the best hire they could do make right now and an upgrade over our last 2 former head coaches.

  32. The company line will be that the Lakers were just doing a very thorough due diligence in the wake of consecutive coaching busts.
    The true reason for their delay in hiring Byron may never be known, unless Phil includes it in his next book update.

    Remember when we hoped the Lakers would do the unconventional and nab Kevin Ollie or Derek Fisher?

    The team is hunkered down in a foxhole right now with bullets sailing overhead. They made the safest choice they could make, bringing in a former Laker that Lord Kobe endorses.

    As far as Byron being the right man because he works hard and really wants the job, doesn’t that sound a lot like Mike Brown?

    If Kobe’s healthy, we will be competitive nightly. If not, we may get to hang onto our pick after all.
    The effects of losing Pau are still unknown, but suffice to say Chicago is delighted to have him.

    Bright spots to watch include Clarkson and Randle, for me, in that order. I’m also very curious to see Ed Davis play. I hope Byron can find him some playing time.

  33. What took so long?

    FWIW, McMenamin wrote that the last interview was specifically to talk about what Scott would do with the players who wound up on the roster.

  34. Yet another move to make sure Kobe’s “retirement home” years are as comfortable as they can be.

  35. Lineup for lakers. 5 hills 4 boozer 3 wesley 2 kobe 1 lin then davis came in for hills Randle for boozer then young for kobe and X for wesley and Clarkson for lin. Tell me what you think.

  36. Is anyone else wishing for a shortened strike season?

  37. I don’t get all the “We are not contending anyway, so why not hire a coach with a bad record, known limits to his ability to adjust in game, a poor track record of building a culture and getting players to buy in, and isn’t even good at the one thing he hangs his hat on (defense)”. If we are going to have a few down years (and we are, with Byron or not) you spend the time growing a culture. If we are going to struggle to make the playoffs, at least use that struggle to teach the young guys how to overcome that struggle (that includes the coach). Frankly, making Kobe happy happens twice a month when the direct deposit notification rings on his blinged out phone. For every one of us harkening to the past glories of the Showtime era; I’m sorry but the banners, the retired numbers, the trophies, and the legends roaming the halls of STAPLES Center and the Time Warner Sports studios is more than enough of looking backwards. I appreciate the past. I’m looking to the future and I wanted a coach who has one.

  38. Tell me what you think.

    Lottery .. And on top of that, not bad enough to finish in the bottom 5. Therefore, handing over our pick to Phoenix.

  39. P Ami
    Agree with you re Scott.
    Except- now we’re stuck with him.
    So instead of complaining all year I’m gonna try to think positive :)
    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

  40. Call me a cock-eyed optimist if you will, but I believe that if the Lakers can acquire a solid starting center like say, an Okafor, they will surprise a lot of people. I have that much faith in Kobe Bryant. Over the years, I’ve seen players like Pau, Lamar, Fish, Ariza, Bynum, et al play their best ball alongside the Mamba. Granted, Phil was a factor in those players’ contributions as well. However, I’ve always felt that the spin that Kobe “doesn’t make his teammates better” was hogwash. I think guys like Young, Henry, Johnson, Hill and Lin will play very well alongside Mr. Bryant.

    As for Byron Scott, I welcome him. Scott is a lifelong Laker, who enjoyed great professional success here. He’s had coaching success at other stops. I much prefer him to MDA, or a George Karl, who once stated that he “hates” the Lakers. Byron loves the Lakers. That’s a big positive in my book. I also think a coach can grow and become better at his job. Good luck, Byron!

  41. Dodo-
    Agree with your lineup
    Except
    I believe Young is a starter.
    Especially with that contract.

    So Swag is prob starting at the 3.
    Or at the 2 if Kobe moves to the 3.
    Wesley is a bench player, I think.

  42. The 3rd in a line of uninspiring, mediocre coaching hires. This is why you don’t fire your coach unless you have clearly superior prospects waiting in the wings. With this, we’re just spinning our wheels once more.

    But at least Scott is “part of the Lakers family” and “knows what it takes to represent this illustrious franchise” and “has championship DNA.” He’s also a decidedly mediocre to below average coach.

    He’s done very little without elite PGs creating an offensive system for him. I agree with Darius and P. Ami on this one. Scott may get more buy-in than the previous 2 coaches initially due to his relationship with Kobe. That said, if his tactical decisions are repeatedly lacking, it’s not hard for me to envision him losing buy-in from Kobe. Sentimentality isn’t Kobe’s strong suit.

    Ugh. I hope I’m proven wrong, but this hire just continues the recent trend.

  43. Has Jordan Clarkson been signed yet? I am sure Byron would like to now if his skill set will be available this season or not.

  44. The Lakers have yet to make this hire official.

  45. .. to talk about what Scott would do with the players who wound up on the roster.

    I hope – as you mentioned in 1 of your previous comments – not play Boozer so much to the point that it becomes a detriment to the development of Randle and/or Kelly.

    Still can’t believe that the FO put a bid in for Boozer. Particularly after drafting Randle and resigning Hill (who, imo, is still a PF who, in all likelihood, will be masquerading as a Center on this roster) and Kelly (who, with the right tutelage, could develop into a Ryan Anderson type). Now I’m far from the ‘capologist’ of our FB&G Community – that title probably belongs to Warren – but I believe that the funds that were allocated towards Boozer, should have been spent on bringing in a real Center.

  46. P. Ami: ““We are not contending anyway, so why not hire a coach ” : I will omit the rest of the sentence, because nobody is saying that. The first part of the sentence is pretty much a fact for 15 and is most likely for 16. Beyond that – we can see. We obviously differ on Scott. Where we also differ is how coaches are hired and fired in today’s NBA. You are implying that we could have gotten a genius coach who knows x’s and o’s, and also happens to be great with players. He will develop a culture from the ground floor up, and then 5-6 years from now – he will coach us to a title. Well – that sounds pretty good, but it just does not happen much in the NBA. The average current coaching tenure in the entire league is 2.4 years (seriously). If Pop retires someday, his departure will just about take the average under 2 years. Now – factor in that we are not very good – I would not bank on Byron (or whoever you wanted), being in the job for 6 years. So it may sound a little jaded – but it is also realistic. If Scott falls on his face with offense, defense, and substitutions it will be a breakeven from the last 3 years. So rather than getting some proposed prodigy coach with some revolutionary offense (MD), or revolutionary defense (MB), we are getting a known quantity. A Laker, someone who will deal with the press, someone who will be able to deal with Kobe, and somebody who will keep his cool. That is an upgrade across the board in all 4 of those categories. Please remember this (rr – I know you will). A couple years from now (probably sooner), when (not if – but when) everyone is calling for Byron’s head, I will not defend him to the hilt like others have done with MD. Byron’s tenure will be tenuous at best. However someone needs to lead this charge. We are outmanned, outflanked, and desperate. Neither Byron or any other coach can change that without significant help from the FO. And that is separate discussion : )

  47. you spend the time growing a culture.

    This term has come into vogue since the Spurs won again–a lot of media guys have been talking about the Spurs “culture”, since they have the emphasis on international players, and the long-term Duncan/Pop marriage at the center of the team. Popovich may use the term himself; I remember when Mike Brown got hired, he made a big deal about how he would “define the culture” of the Lakers, and he may have gotten it from Popovich.

    But, the people who like the Scott hire are, actually, making a “culture” argument, suggesting that Scott’s presence will get the Lakers back some of their “culture” since that is what all the Showtime, etc. arguments really are. And any coach, re-tread or not, will have certain philosophies, beliefs, and practices, which is more or less what people mean by “culture” in sports terms.

    Like I said, I would have preferred a new guy, too, but not because Scott will not bring a “culture” to the organization that some other guy would have. Scott’s problem is that there are specific holes in his coaching record.

  48. Are some of you overstating a cosch?

    I once read they a very bad cosch can a team 8 to 10 a season. Everyone else 1 or 2. I only see really great coaches in SA and Chicago. They are not available.

    Unless he loses the team like Brown has twice, it’s gonna make the difference between 36 and 38 wins.

    At least he doesn’t ‘t mumble .like a broken talking toy like MDA on post game interviews or make 40 excuses in a run on sentence like Brown.

    Perception at this point is all we have.

  49. @bigcitysid….when you put it that way haha.

    Does anyone think Michael Beasley would be worth a shot? Or that he would help the roster?

    Another thing, Byron has stated he sees kobe having to change his game a little maybe play a little more small forward. With that lineup, who starts at the 2 for the Lakers. If Lin starts at PG, Kobe at SF, who starts at SG, do we have Wesley Johnson in that Thabo sefolosha defensive wing roll and kobe plays the 3, or does young start? It’ll be interesting to see. It’s also interesting to think about what the lakers best line up looks like before the season:

    (a) Lin, Kobe, Johnson, Randle, Hill
    (b) Lin, Johnson, Kobe, Boozer, Hill
    (c) Lin, Kobe, Young, Boozer, Hill
    (d) Lin, Johnson, Kobe, Boozer, Hill

    we shall see….going to have a very solid bench too. Clarkson, Davis, Kelly, Henry, Young/Johnson, Randle/Boozer, Hill/Davis. Very versatile roster and we should be competing and if Kobe can close a few games I can see this team making the playoffs with Byron motivating them well.

  50. The Lakers don’t need Beasley, they have Randle. The roster is set for now, the remaining spots will be needed to facilitate a trade in the future. As for the coaching hire, just as in free agency, the Lakers made the best possible hire based on who was available.

  51. KO- Carlisle, Van Gundy, Spolestra (and I’ve been saying this from before LeBron came there. He did a very good job with his Wade and the Kiddy Pool Kids of 2010) and Doc have all shown excellent coaching ability. I’m not suggesting the team needs an all-time great coach. I’m saying, bring in a good coach with upside.

    rr- The idea of growing a culture in team sports is not a new one. Celtic Pride, the Knicks of the 70’s, the Showtime Lakers, The Bad Boys and whatever we want to call the Triangle system- these are all examples of a way to play, a way to interact with your teammates, an organizational commitment to each other, and the building of a family bond that make for a culture in sports. When successful it provides stability, adaptability and synergy. Some coaches are good at facilitating this and can maintain it during adversity. Yes, Byron Scott has been a part of such a culture when he played for the Showtime Lakers. On the other hand, he has never transmitted it as the head coach of any of the previous teams he was handed. I have little reason to think he will suddenly transmit this simply because he played for the team.

    Might he have learned from his mistakes? Sure. Is it possible he gained a grasp of x’s and o’s that he didn’t show before? Sure. Might Scott have mellowed out his practice style? Could be. Hell, Popovic wasn’t always Popovic but frankly, I don’t recall his coaching from that first go with the Spurs. I’m just saying, there were a number of better options I knew about whose warts I haven’t already seen. There are probably more than a few prospective coaches I’m not insider enough to know about. Nothing about this hire comes off as a hire with vision. Clearly, I hate the hire. I hate the obvious BS that was put out there about casting a wide net. I hate the “patriotism” displayed by various people who let Scott’s having worn and won in the purple and gold make them ignore what he has done when wearing a suit and tie on the sideline of three teams. Look, this is not the end of the world or the end of the Lakers. It just ends the possibility of these Lakers making a smart and interesting hire and that disappoints me. Oh well.

    Joe– Blatt, Messina, Fisher… Those are all three possible hires that I think are much better alternatives to Scott and Messina is still available.

  52. As for the coaching hire, just as in free agency, the Lakers made the best possible hire based on who was available.

    It’s true that by the time the Lakers pulled the trigger on Scott he was the best available.
    That’s because they waited so long that Hollins took a job elsewhere.

    However, retaining Swaggy and winning a bid for Boozer while ignoring Bledsoe and failing to make an offer to Lance Stephenson does not in my opinion equate to getting the best player available.

  53. P Ami: Many of us would have supported Fish as a possible hire. He would have brought many of the same things Byron does, as well as being a fresh face on the scene who “could grow” with the team He of course was never given an interview and we all know why. Like I said – Byron does not solve all the problems. That would require more significant organizational change.

  54. Celtic Pride, the Knicks of the 70?s, the Showtime Lakers, The Bad Boys and whatever we want to call the Triangle system- these are all examples of a way to play, a way to interact with your teammates, an organizational commitment to each other, and the building of a family bond that make for a culture in sports.

    This is ISTM what people around those teams like to talk about when they have a core of HOFers/All-Stars on the roster. Boston was a wasteland between Cowens and Bird. The Knicks and Pistons teams lacked all-time top 10 type guys, but were very deep in talent but stopped winning after those cores got old. The Lakers’ culture won no titles between June of 1988 and June of 2000 dropped below .500 without Magic. Growing the culture starts with having top-level talent. Without it, culture means little IMO.

    There are two orgs in the NBA that can make a culture=wins argument right now. One is obviously the Spurs, and I think the other is Dallas. Both those orgs have benefitted from committed ownership, quality coaching, and long-term stars who have aged very well. But even so, I suspect that the Spurs culture will look a lot less potent when Duncan and Popovich are gone.

    That said, I agree with some of your points about Scott specifically. I just wouldn’t frame my issues with the hire in terms of culture.

  55. “Culture” is something the media likes to assign to successful franchises because it’s a neat and tidy narrative to add to writing about the obvious over and over.

    The common denominator of “Celtic Pride” or Showtime or the Bad Boys was that they won championships, and they won championships because they had multiple Hall of Famers surrounded by all-time role players. The coaches made the systems work, sure, but there was phenomenal talent in each of those cases. The “culture” label came later, after the success.

    Byron comes from a great era in Laker history, but that and $4 will buy him a coffee at Starbucks these days. Until the Lakers can restock their lineup, it won’t matter. Hopefully Randle and Clarkson are the first pieces, but I really would have liked to see a rim protector like Okafor brought in rather than a square peg fossil like Boozer.

    I don’t like the Scott hire, but as Robert and others have said, you have to hire someone and the names out there weren’t knocking anyone’s socks off. If Blatt goes on to do well in the NBA that’s one miss that will piss me off; pre-LeBron one would have to have believed he would have chosen L.A. over Cleveland, if given the chance.

  56. Would I rather the Lakers had hired Fisher or Ollie, you betcha! Mainly, because they are unknown and fit the Lakers current (unknown) position, but barring either of those two, I am satisfied with the Scott hire.

    Byron and Kobe are two surefire bonafide Lakers. The Lakers culture is assaulted from these two pivotal positions, so name one player on the team that will proffer less than their best on the floor?Kobe will instill the work ethic requisite to establish Laker pride and competitiveness in games, and Coach Scott (4yr) will back him.

    No, Scott was unable to install the Lakers pride at other organizations because he was not with the Laker’s organization, lol. Look for Young, Johnson, Henry, Clarkson, Davis and Randle to buy-in to the Lakers mystic, with an assist from Kobe and Scott.

    Thankfully, we Lakers die-hards will not have to endure 5-6 game losing streaks by 20 points.

    Welcome Back Scotter! The groundhogs need you, a lot, welcome-back, welcome-back, welcome-back.

  57. it’s not that complicated.
    speculate or complain as you like, but the games are still yet to be played.

    personally, i think Kobe is fine, so i think the team will be competitive. i don’t expect a championship, but i see ways that it could happen. i wouldn’t bet on any of them, but i also wouldn’t bet against, because one thing i’ve learned from living more than half a century, is that crazy things can happen.

    what’s really wrong with the BScott hire? he wasn’t my choice, but he might actually do a good job. winning a title is a string of really incredibly good luck. naturally, much luck is the luck you make, some is out of any individual’s control, some can’t be affected by a human being.

    this is the team. criticize it, but cheer for it. encourage it. did the bitching help or hinder D’Antoni? i’ll hold out some foolish hope that Nash can help the team, that Kobe can still play, that the role players do a good job in their roles, that BScott uses his parts wisely, that there aren’t any major injuries, then there’s nothing left but to watch the games.you know who you were, you wanted D’Antoni gone. i did, too, but i thought he was a good coach. well, sometimes you’re better off with what you had. sometimes, what you thought that you didn’t want is exactly what you want. maybe Scott will surprise.

    i know everybody knows this stuff…but this stuff is what makes it fun to watch games and root for a team. being happy about being correct when it’s about a terrible future for the team you claim as “yours”, is truly masochistic behavior unless the real joy is another’s misery. but, i also know that no Laker fan is celebrating being correct about last year’s disasters…

  58. The roster is not that great but they will grow from here. Scott may not be the best choice but he’s the only one remaining standing and faithful to purple and gold. Whether you like or dislike him, it is better to have Scott than nothing. You experiment outside the box like Mbrown and Dantoni, you got what you wished for – disgruntlement and disenchantment in the Laker Nation. Therefore, if you cannot get what you dreamed of, you have to enjoy what is real and in front of you. Move on and dream again with Jim Buss in 2015, 2016 of FA’s available till then. If this roster make it to the playoffs, it will be a success for Scotty but no credit for Jim Buss & Mitch who assembled a roster that are all trade baits for the big fishes due to the mystery of CBA, Kobe and Nash contracts. However, it is great news that we got Ed Davis to play @ 1,1M; Lin and Nash are only 1 year contract, got Boozer for a year only. Randle and Clarkson have the chance to play under a Lakers showtime performer. Everyone will be motivated to perform or else they will be gone for good.

    By the way, when does the 3 year deal with Jim Buss start, this season or during Dantoni’s hire? Will there be a fan option on the 3rd year?

  59. rr… If your point is that Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Red Holtzmen, Pat Riley and Popovic would not have won without great talent- well, I’m going to wait for you to suggest something less obvious before debating that specific point. Clearly I was not thinking otherwise. You are making a straw man argument. If you really wanted to address my point, you might ask yourself “What made the difference between how the Bulls played with Jackson as opposed to with Doug Collins? Or if you think it was just a natural progression (not involving coaching) of Pippin and Grant growing into their game… Then how about the difference Thibadeau’s Bulls and the Del Negro Bulls? What about the difference between Doc’s team and Del Negro’s with the Clippers. Do you think Russell was just flat out better than Wilt or the difference in talent between Russell’s teams was different from Wilt’s? Go look at Wilt’s teams in Philly. Plenty of talent. Do we hear about the Celtics Pride and not the Philly teams because the Celtics happen to be more talented and then writers mythologized? Or did the Celtics coach interact with his players in a manner that elevated their culture and it showed both in their winning and how observers felt when watching the team play. Baylor, Wilt and West was plenty talented and still lost to an over the hill group of Celtics. You think that was just talent winning out? Remember, the Lakers finally broke through when Bill Sharmen, a Celtic, became the coach. He started shoot arounds and transmitted concepts he learned under Aurbach. You can see good coaching and culture on bad teams (some of those PHX teams with Nash come to mind) and good teams can show bad culture (the Harris Lakers) even when they have all the tradition in the world to live up to.

    CHearn… I’m hoping Scotts proves me very, very wrong, but Byron was coach of the Cavs when they lost an NBA record 26 games in a row… Guys, if I’m not mulling this over and coming up with ways this might work, how if this one guy buys in and another guy exceeds expectations just a little, and this one coach learned from his past mistakes- it’s because I’m busy researching Byron Scott’s coaching history and finding more and more data that shows that my initial sense of his being a bad coach has more support than I had intuited.

  60. Wow, this was a very depressing read about our new coach.

  61. You are making a straw man argument.

    No, I’m not. If your point is “Having a great or good coach helps a team when it has a lot of talent”, then, well, yes. My point was that you are using the word “culture” as sort of a catch-all to describe a lot of different things going on–talent, coaching, luck in close games, key injuries, etc. Titles are won and lost for many reasons. “Culture” as applied to basketball is a word sort of like “chemistry”, where it sounds profound and deep but really isn’t.

    As to some of the specifics:

    1. 69 Lakers vs. 69 Celtics: the narrative you present is a common one, but I would suggest that you actually look a little more at the specifics of those teams–strength of schedule, scoring margin, overall talent, etc. Those teams were basically even.
    2. 76ers/Celtics: very complicated. The account of the 1965 and 1968 EC playoffs are full of many different things going on and the series were very tight. And the 76ers beat them in 1967.
    3. 1972 Lakers: combination of talent, coaching, money and a league watered down by expansion.
    4. Bulls–combination of Grant and Pippen developing and Phil. But without Jordan and Grant they were just a little over .500 until Jordan came back in 1995, and even then they lost in the playoffs. They needed Rodman and they needed Jordan back in basketball shape.
    5. 2000 Lakers: Kobe developing, adding role players, and Phil getting the team to D up.

    So, bringing it to the present, your argument seems to be that the Lakers should have hired a new guy, because he might be a better coach than Byron Scott. I think that is a pretty good argument. But “growing a culture” doesn’t do a team much good without talent on it.

  62. did the bitching help or hinder D’Antoni?

    I would assume that the answer is “neither.” I have seen hardline D’Antoni defenders at other sites suggest that the “fans ran D’Antoni out of town” which is IMO very foolish. If Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak actually believe that Mike D’Antoni is a top-tier NBA coach, then they should have agreed to re-up his deal ahead of time, like he wanted them to, and kept him here. The response to this, I suppose, would be “MDA is a really good coach but didn’t fit here”, to which I would respond that IMO really good coaches generally adapt and find a way to make things fit.

    So, we are back to the idea that you personally are bothered and frustrated by people complaining about how bad they think the team is. That is fine, but I believe pretty firmly that such things do not have, and should not have, any appreciable effect on the players, the coaches, or the FO. Coming to a site like this and arguing/complaining about the Lakers is nothing more than a leisure activity for certain types of fans.

    And all of us here are just fans who want the Lakers to win.

  63. rr, Phil was notorious for spending no time on defense. in fact, that was one of the biggest complaints about him during his tenure. he even said, that if the offense is run correctly, the defense takes care of itself because the players are in the correct positions to avoid runouts on missed shots.

    P. Ami, of course the coach helps, but really, Byron isn’t a terrible coach, he’s a good coach. he may or may not be worse than D’Antoni, but D’Antoni is also a good coach. i agree that it would be nice to have a better coach, but he’s capable of getting to the finals. there are bigger problems than the coach. it’s not really that bad of a team, if it doesn’t break. that’s the biggest problem, that the team can be compared to a construction machine with too many crucial parts that have been over stressed. the machine needs to do some heavy work and it’s a little underrated for the work that must be done…but it might hold together, you never know. it’s not like there’s any choice but to use what you got.

    we can easily second guess the office, but no one here knows what they know about the situation. there are some very competent basketball minds in the Lakers employ, even if there’s limited trust in Jimmy, it’s doubtful that complete idiots have suddenly manned every desk.

    really, Laker fans need to relax and enjoy the ride.

  64. Lakers DRTGs:

    1999 (Harris) 23rd in NBA/104.3 pts per 100 possessions
    2000 (Phil) 1st in NBA/98.2 pts per possession

    2001 21st (injuries, coasting)
    2002 (7th)
    2003 (19th) Shaq carrying piano role players aging
    2004 (6th) Mailman and Glove

    2005 (Rudy T/Hamblen) 30th
    2006 (Phil) 15th

    2007 24th
    2008 5th
    2009 6th
    2010 4th
    2011 6th
    2012 (Brown) 13th
    2013 20th
    2014 28th

    source: Basketball Reference.com

  65. …and yet, if you believe the reporters, the players and Phil himself, Phil Jackson practiced defense about the same amount as Mike D’Antoni normally would….he didn’t TEACH defense. he just expected the players to do it. much hand wringing ensued during his time with the Lakers, even though their defense wasn’t terrible.

  66. and yet, if you believe the reporters, the players and Phil himself, Phil Jackson practiced defense about the same amount as Mike D’Antoni normally would…

    ___

    So? My point was that the Lakers’ improvement going from Harris to Phil was mostly on defense, which it clearly was.

  67. How you play defense is heavily relied on how you play offense. If you take bad shots (D’antoni style), the other team will come back at you at score easily (especially in todays NBA where every team has a point guard who knows how to run the fast break). We need to run our offense efficiently and get back on defense.

  68. no, rr, the improvement was in the offense, which left the players in better position to play defense. sometimes numbers and stats don’t really tell the story. D’Antoni’s and PJ’s approach to defense is pretty much the same. the difference is the run-n-gun mentality of MD’s offense compared to PJ’s sober, predictable offense.

  69. sorry everyone, this is off-topic:

    Robert,
    in re. to your post on the last thread:
    I´d much rather jump aboard the carpet ride that is `Voodoo Chile´ (slight return) to kick off a Lakers game. Though for your sake, I certainly wouldn´t begrudge Metallica ! (oh, and keep up the fine job as“virtual´´ owner of our great team; I´m enjoying the process! ; )
    ___
    to reiterate: Go Byron! Kick some butt for us man!!

  70. no, rr, the improvement was in the offense, which left the players in better position to play defense

    Then what happened the years they dropped to into the 20s in D, like the next year? Everyone was suddenly out of position all the time in 2001, when the Lakers were 2nd in the NBA in ORTG, with 108.4 PTS/100 possessions? The Pace factor was the same both years–14th.

    D’Antoni’s and PJ’s approach to defense is pretty much the same.

    Unless you have been at multiple practices and in team meetings with both coaches, you have no way of knowing this. And in any case, Phil got results on D, at least most of the time, and the NBA is ultimately a results business.

    As a few people have pointed out here, D in the NBA is a matter of personnel as well as schemes and commitment. D’Antoni’s best teams in PHX were actually OK on D, relative to Pace, in large part because they had Shawn Marion in his prime. Here, with old players and weak defenders, the Lakers were very bad on D under D’Antoni–except for the final 35 games or so in 2013, when Howard started moving better. Under Phil, they started off strong with Shaq and Kobe hungry and buying in, dropped off as Shaq and Kobe’s relationship deteriorated, the role players got old, and Shaq got fat, and then picked back up when they got Malone and Payton.

    The 2005 team quit on Hamblen, but with Phil back, and some personnel adjustments, the team jumped to the middle of the pack and after an off year in 2007, stayed in the Top 10 until Phil left. One key to the D on those teams was Odom–whom, Brown, of course, didn’t have, when the team dropped to 13th in 2012.

    You are right about one thing, which is that one of the basic principles of the Triangle, and one reason Phil believes in it so strongly, is floor balance, and the corollary principle of offense and defense interacting. But principles and beliefs don’t win basketball games. Talented and motivated players do, and whatever he did or didn’t do in practice, Phil was one of the best ever at motivating talented players.

  71. Rusty Shackleford July 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    If the Lakers are indeed at the beginning of a long-term rebuild I would have preferred they drafted Zach Levine. Holy pissbuckets he windmilled from the free throw line.

  72. Time will tell on Levine.

    Doug Christie was a crazy good athlete as a Laker, too, and we saw how well his career turned out.

  73. rr- The reason culture is used as a catch all word is because the phenomenon it is describing is mostly a catch all phenomenon. Culture is the phasing of habits shared and shaped by a group. It covers self image, the way you relate to your group and how you relate to other groups. Seeing that the NBA is a results oriented environment, where winning is the largest objective measure of culture quality, we can judge the team culture by those results. Earnings is also another objective measure of players, teams and the league. The entertainment value is a subjective measure of the quality of the culture. Some teams manage to win, to make lots of money and are generally recalled as being entertaining (Showtime Lakers). Point being, criticizing the use of the word culture because it is a catch all phrase is not on point as a major part of coaching is to maximize the talent he has on a team. He does this by establishing expectations, facilitating the achievement of those expectations and managing the game. Call it chemistry but I think culture is a better word because it speaks to the human order of magnitude rather than the molecular one. It accounts for human manners instead of dehumanizing the process. But, if you want to speak chemically, you need the right combination of chemicals and time to make a human. Provide a “coach” with the right chemicals and some will give you that human you asked for. Provide a different coach the same chemicals and he’ll fail to make a human. Give the right coach the wrong chemicals and he might not get you a human but he may just figure out a way to base life on silicon instead of carbon so we get something that does all the things a person does. I know I’ve gone way off into a weird tangent but I hope it gets my point accross, none the less. To build on this idea, I don’t expect the Lakers to hire that coach who would invent silicon based life. I do want him to make a human, not a recess monkey. I have huge reasons to think Byron will give us a straw man and the next coach will have to be the Wizard of Oz.

    BTW, focus on defense is a cultural attribute.

  74. Phenomenon,Chemistry, culture, human… That Words Sounds good. I agree with you P. AMI.
    Some guys in the net forget the fact most important here is THE HUMAN. THE GROUP, THE CULTURE. Next season kinds of things to see:
    Kobe questions
    Byron Scott change agent?
    Randle potencial
    Boozer/Lin find themselves in lakerland?
    Ed Davis impact?
    Jordan HIll Worth that contract?
    Swaggy P, and Henry.. Evolution?
    Kupach …And the next move to improvement the team ?

    NOTE: Michael Beasley is in search for oportunitis and the Laker can gave him one shoot.. for a low price… Remember we dont have a real small forward. Take him now.

  75. Have to look at this as a three-year deal that is really just for two.

    No way Byron takes this gig for less than three years guaranteed, esp. given Fisher and Kerr’s contracts. He has two years, which I think is another way of saying that the FO is conceding we’re not going to be very good during that window. Scott is a caretaker; if he lucks into the playoffs, great, but it’s unlikely to change the big picture.

    Which is that the Lakers will gladly eat the third year of this contract in the summer of 2016, if that’s what it takes to get KD or whomever. Whether that’s realistic or not I don’t know, but I’d guess they’d figure Scott’s remaining contract would be a sunk cost and small potatoes if eating it meant attracting a big name FA.

  76. we can judge the team culture by those results.

    To an extent, perhaps, but I suspect that there are teams–like say the Atlanta Hawks right now–that have a great team culture as you are using the term but aren’t particularly good because they don’t have the horses/had key injuries to the horses they do have. The 2004 Lakers made it to the Finals, and I don’t think anybody would hold up that team as an exemplar of team culture. One counterargument I suppose is that with a better culture, and no injury to Karl Malone, they might have beaten Detroit.

    Commitment, vision, effort, teamwork–these are all real things. But as I have said many times, I try to keep things simple, and the NBA is a talent league.

  77. Just saw this tweet on espn.com: Judge rules against Donald Sterling, clears way for Clippers to be sold to Steve Ballmer for $2B.

  78. a perfect example of “culture” is the Chicago Cubs…

    rr-when i say that D’Antoni and PJ have the same approach to defense, i mean neither coach spends much time teaching it, if the reporters, players, and coaches themselves are to be believed. yes, PJ is a great motivator.

    Brian, the Sterling ruling would seem to clear the way, but i’ll bet Sterling has at least a couple more attempts to make trouble in him…this judge mainly seemed to be concerned that holding off on the sale might make the franchise lose money, or that’s a big part of the explanation of the ruling.

  79. Warren Wee Lim July 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    This is the reason why November couldn’t come too soon. We are all experiencing withdrawals from basketball.

    PS. Darius my ip from my mobile still can’t access the site.

  80. Well…so Byron Scott is the new coach. What can he possibly do with this bunch?

    For one thing, I don’t think he’s inherited such a bad group of players. To me, they have .500 written all over them. Barring another biblical plague of injuries, I don’t think this team will be horrible. Nor will it win any championships or strike fear into the truly elite teams in the NBA. Having said that, here are a few things that Mr. Scott can stress with this version of the Lakers to get the most out of them IMO:

    1) Stress team defense. I don’t see a lot of outstanding individual defenders on this team. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t play team defense. Metta World Peace (a former DPOY) recently said that individual defense is over-rated. If that’s the case, then playing outstanding, energetic, intense, relatively mistake-free, intelligent team defense might be the most important goal for the 2014-15 Lakers (and a refreshing change of pace from last year).

    2) Stress rebounding. With Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, Carlos Boozer, and Julius Randle the Lakers have 4 front liners who are outstanding rebounders. Kobe himself is one of the finest rebounding guards in the league if not the best. Having been coached by Pat Riley for many years (“No rebounds — no rings!”), I’d be amazed if B. Scott doesn’t make sure that this next Lakers team excels at hitting the boards.

    3) Apportion time wisely. This is a team that could legitimately go 9-10 deep. If that’s the case — and I believe it is — then no player should be averaging more than 32 minutes per game. This would mean, hopefully, fewer injuries and a greater level of intensity (because the players wouldn’t have to pace themselves).

    4) Find combinations of players that play well together. Will Jordan Hill play best with Boozer or Randle? Will Nick Young co-exist with Kobe? Should young players such as Jordan Clarkson (22) and Xavier Henry (23) team up with veterans such as Kobe, Nash, and Boozer? Will Ed Davis and Jordan Hill — the Lakers’ two best defensive front court players — play along side each other, especially when facing bigger teams like Detroit, Sacramento, and San Antonio?

    If Byron Scott can come up with effective answers to these questions, and do so sooner rather than later, then this next season need not be the chamber of horrors that last season was.

    I, for one, can hardly wait to find out. I’m cautiously looking forward to the new season. But then again, I was cautiously looking forward to last season, too.

  81. I don’t know why the name D’Antoni still being mentioned as if we have not recovered from that nightmare. He ruined Kobe on his first season just to get the playoffs; drove away Dwight. The succeeding season, more injuries could ever imagine and ruined our lottery positioning as well. This coach should be scratched, he’s no Laker just plain journeyman Coach looking for an owner to fool like Jim Buss. Got away with 2M just to leave.

    With Byron, it starts with the first step in journey of a thousand minutes in learning the fundamental of defense from practices to actual games. It is like a baby teaching how to walk, talk and ABC. If he can teach Lin, Swaggy P, Xavier, Nash, Kelly, Johnson some defensive moves, reduce those unnecessary TO’s due to showman’s grandstanding, chuckling shots w/o rebounds which lead to transition fast break by opponents, cut those sleepwalking on the posts like what Pau & Kaman do to penetrating PG’s and. opponents should “be afraid” in pivoting in the posts – I think Lakers can make it to 45 W’s. If he fails, I’m still happy because he will try his best and also he ‘s our BS, our garbage compared to Brown and Dantoni who were rubbish from get go.

  82. Mid I am changing your name to
    ATW-Wilshire.

    After that post you are no way Mid you are “all the way” there.

    Completely agree. If Lakers can get rebounds and defense this year.
    Along with extra scoring from Kobe, Randle and Boozer.
    Throw in a real NBA PG and a coach the players respect———-

    Well I see 40 low to 50 high. It’s not a home run but unlike last year, at least they won’t strike out 57 times and embarrass the Laker name.

    And that no BS as in Byron Scott of course.

    Thanks ATW

  83. Mid-W’s post is on the mark.
    Defense can be coached and emphasized.
    So can rebounding, boxing out, playing the game the right way.
    As can sharing the rock.
    These things make a difference in the W/L column and to the ‘culture.’

  84. @ ko,

    I’ve been re-named. Of course, it’s just between us.

  85. While I am not a huge fan of the Scott hiring I am willing to see how it plays out. The Lakers lack of talent will provide a cushion of lower expectations and an outside chance (should the stars align) of exceeding them.

    What the Lakers have needed these last four years has been continuity on the sidelines. Real success on the floor is likely three or so years away. This is the reason I was hoping we’d get a younger coach who could weather the storms ahead. All of my concerns aside, I believe Scott to be a much better fit than MB or MDA.

    I know this is a bit of a stretch but I am heartened by Joe Torre’s managerial record. He had only one playoff appearance in his first 15 years as a manager. This all changed when he went to the Yankees.

    Clearly his Yankee teams had talent so I’m not comparing the current Lakers to them. However, I make this point because its possible for Scott to have learned from his past mistakes and lay the ground work for a Laker tenure longer than 2 years.

  86. Awesome post yesterday Mid.

  87. Mid: “To me, they have .500 written all over them.” Sorry – with “500” prediction. your name must remain “Mid”. Even though that prediction is on the optimistic side.
    rr: With regard to the yearly defensive stats above: As you know – It appears as though 2 things are needed – talent and effective coaching. If either is missing the defense suffers.
    Scott: He should have a clause in his contract that states that of he makes the playoffs next year, then the 4th year is automatically exercised.

  88. You want your coach to get as much out of your players as possible. That said the quality of talent dictates the low and high ends of what is possible. I think the Lakers have a lot of nice pieces but I feel like the overall roster construction is poor. They have a lot of duplication of roles. Meanwhile it looks like the Lakers are constantly looking to make the next Kwame for Gasol move. Nash contract this year, Hill’s friendly tax cap contract next year. Problem is under the current CBA it is harder to write a contract that a team would want to get out from under who is a high caliber talent.

  89. Robert
    I’ll take that up a notch.
    If Lakers make the playoffs this year, Byron’s contract should include a statue in front of Staples.

  90. Does Clarkson complete our roster once he signs?
    Are we still in the market for Beasley?

  91. Warren Wee Lim July 29, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Why is .500 and a 7th/8th seed so hard to conceive?

  92. Re Jordan Hill’s contract.
    I read somewhere (here?) that he
    had been offered 4 years at 7m per elsewhere. What does this one year deal do for us, along with a second year as team option?
    Flexibility for next year I suppose.
    But what message does this send to Jordan Hill?
    “We’ll overpay you for one year.
    Then we may release you.”
    Doesn’t sound like team-building or confidence-building to me.

  93. J C,

    Hill’s contract is two years.

  94. Spurs, thunder, clips, blazers, Dallas, Houston, gsw, Memphis, phoenix – that’s 9 immediate reasons why 7/8 seed is inconceivable – which puts lakers at the same level as NO and Denver but above Sac/minn/utah. In the east if everyone is healthy, lakers get in w a .500 record – but out west again it’s probably gonna take 50 wins and Lakers aren’t going to get there. And B Scott can talk all he wants about defense and I understand a sound team scheme can makeup for individual weaknesses but at some point you have to have at least one individual defender who can legitimately hold their own and if anything this team has gotten worse individually defense wise. As much as I’m excited for the young guys, I think we’re going to see more of the same – just lower scoring losses since BS will slow pace.

  95. TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh July 29, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I watched every Lakers game last season. Yes, EVERY one, including pre-season. And yes, it was very frustrating and painful at times, so much in fact, that I was very close to destroying my TV on numerous occasions.

    One of the main contributors that drove me up the wall was D’Antoni’s questionable substitutions and inconsistency with his rotations.

    This was, mind you, an area that had already been a problem in his first season (when he took over like 6 games into the season) and supposedly that issue should’ve been fixed through a full training camp and pre-season in his second year.

    But my hope was in vain, his substitutions and rotations actually got worse.
    (Yes, I know, a lot of guys got injured, and you can’t control that, and bla-bla. )
    But: even when he had a full roster he played max. 8 man deep,
    and switched around line-ups like a group of french swingers high on extasy
    on a singles-cruise…
    At times it looked so random, arbitrary and counter intuitive (not to say blatantly idiotic)
    that it almost seemed like he did it on purpose, and gave winnable games away.

    Needless to say, it didn’t just drive me up the wall, it also drove several big men out of town.

    Add to that his mumbling, nonchalant post game conferences, full of “well don’t you hate that, the other team was better”, and “rebounding is overrated” and” if you don’t like it y’all can find another team to root for”, and you have the reason for D’Antoni is the worst coach of all time in my book.
    I find it unbelievable that the FO hired this guy.

    So why this rant (it’s all water under the bridge now, and I don’t even like to knock on other people on the internet)?

    Because I think we have a much better chance of being a .500 or even better team than most people think, IF we can learn from this last season’s fiasco, and know from the start what not to do (or not let the new coach do).

    Albeit not having that true elite talent (unless you think a 36 year old Kobe can turn back time)
    I still feel we have a deeper roster now, and a better balance of defensive/offensive talent, as well as a good combination of energetic/young legs with veteran experience and court I.Q.

    So we need to maximize what we have by finding the best rotations.
    So let the discussion begin!
    What line-ups are we playing, what rotations would work best?

    Please, Darius, let’s start a new thread on that note, would you?

    To throw out food for thought: I think Young would be better off the bench at the two, to provide a main offensive threat for the second group and balance that out between the first and second rotation.
    That brings us to the question of who’s playing the starting three? No one seems to have thought of putting Randle at the three.
    I’ve actually seen him play in person in Vegas, my eye ball test made me feel like he is very quick for his length, but probably not strong enough to have an immediate impact against NBA level power forwards.
    Plus we are too deep at the 4, so why not let him focus on wing defense, and leave the scoring to Kobe, and Boozer as a starting four with a mid range game.
    I think Johnson should be in second unit, also.
    And I would want to see Lin start, and Hill, so there you have it. What do you think?

  96. We will be ahead of houston in the rankings and we have the same problem that SA,OKC, clips, mavs , GS all have …. 1 injury to any team could cripple them like we were last year …. have faith in the team … we go the mda stink off of us ..
    We will be a good team amd surprise people

  97. jerke,

    I was about the write the same thing. We are forgetting just how tough the Western Conference is. I’d add New Orleans to your list. They will be a bigger factor this season just because of Davis’ further development. Fifty wins are the goal if this team wants to make the playoffs.

    Shuan,

    You really think the Lakers will be ahead of Houston? Harden and Howard are still better than any players on the Lakers roster. Those two alone are enough to get Houston into the Final 8 in the West.

  98. Here’s some perspective.
    2012-2013 season: 45-37
    Barely made playoffs.
    Coach was Dantoni
    Center was Dwight Howard
    PF was Pau Gasol
    Kobe Bryant had one of his most efficient seasons.

    Ko
    Are you going to have a wins contest next season?
    I predict 38.

  99. Why is .500 and a 7th/8th seed so hard to conceive?

    1. The depth of the conference. Denver has added Afflalo and Gallinari is coming back. New Orleans has added Asik. Utah’s entire rotation is young lottery picks, some of whom will probably get better. Phoenix will probably drop back some, and Minnesota will probably be worse if they trade Love, but even so, both of those teams were a lot better than the Lakers were last year and Minnesota will probably have Wiggins. Sacramento probably won’t be much or any better, but they have as much talent as the Lakers do.

    And that, of course, is before you get to the playoff teams. Dallas was the 8th seed last year, winning 49 games, and while they lost Calderon, they have added Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons. Memphis and Houston might be a little worse, but both are likely to win at least 45. Same with Golden State. Memphis has Gasol and Randolph. Houston of course has Harden and Howard. Golden State has Curry, Bogut and Igoudala.

    2. Leaving Kobe aside for the moment, the Lakers have lost Pau, Kaman, Meeks, Blake, and Farmar. They have added Boozer, Randle, Davis, Lin, and Clarkson. Other than Boozer, these are all good moves, is that the team is younger and more mobile, and Davis can protect the rim some. But none of those five guys is likely to be anything more than an average/slightly above player in terms of how he impacts an NBA team over the 82-game schedule.

    3. They retained Hill, Kelly, Young, Henry, Sacre, Nash, and Johnson. Hill will probably have a good year; he is in his prime and should be very highly motivated. But his weaknesses are well-established. There is little reason to believe that Young at 29 and Johnson at 27 will do any better than they did last year. Kelly will probably improve a bit, but again, he is unlikely to be anything more than a decent rotation player, and he will be fighting for playing time. Same with Henry. Sacre is a 12th man. Nash may not be able to play very much, and if he does, his value at age 40 will be questionable.

    4. Kobe: well-covered. He is the biggest variable, and every prediction about the Lakers will have caveats about him. But given his age, mileage, and the nature of the injuries, the odds are against him.

    5. Scott: I am not too down on the hire, and D’Antoni did not impress me. But there is no specific reason to believe that Scott will be a massive upgrade, if you look at his track record. Also, the Lakers have some tough elements for a coach: dealing with Kobe, dealing with Boozer, and allocating minutes among 12 guys who will all expect to get some.

    6. Fit: basketball of course is a game in which the pieces interact, so you can’t just take guys’ numbers and plug them in and out. But I don’t see great fits on this roster. Boozer, Hill and Randle are all points/rebounds guys with short arms. The wing is crowded; the post may be crowded. The team has a lot of 4s and arguably no true 5. I don’t see rim protection except Davis, and I don’t see high-quality spot-up shooting except Nash if he plays. Lin and Kobe may not fit that well. In addition to that, the team, as noted seems to be treading water more than either flat-out rebuilding or driving all-out for a playoff spot, which will be another challenge for Scott.

    This team is more interesting than last year’s. We all want to see what Kobe and Randle can do. Lin is kind of a fun guy to watch and root for. Davis will be a different kind of guy than anybody they had last year. But I think the overall picture is more or less unchanged: if everything breaks right, the Lakers could go something like 44-38. If a lot of things break wrong, they are back in the 20s again. So, the likely outcome is probably in the 30s–just like last year.

  100. Lakers will make the playoffs. Spurs will struggle to make the playoffs. Clippers will win the West.

  101. @trogers – i agree – NO w Davis and Asik could make a big jump w them all growing as a team.

    RR’s pt 6 is right on. The team got smaller and seems to have duplicated its parts a little – and lost a lot of outside shooting in meeks/blake/farmar etc… all gone and Nash being unknown. 44 sounds about right at the top end – and thats probably still 4-5 games back of a playoff berth – w Jc’s 38 sounding pretty close to a realistic expectation.

    Its a different cast this year – could be fun to watch if there isn’t an injury bug but not sure where the expectations in some quarters that this will be a markedly better team come from. the setup for the future and unloading salaries I get, but this could be a painful year.

  102. rr July 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    ___

    Mega Dittos!

  103. @ rr July 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm, nice post.

  104. rr-This team is more interesting than last year’s.

    Exactly!!!!!

  105. JC

    Thinking if having a monthly contest. Before start of month each player pucks number of wins. Winner gets choice of wine or beer.

    Thoughts?

  106. TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh July 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Ko, I’m game. What about also picking season total wins? Whats the price if someone nails that?
    You can call me crazy if you want, but put me down for 50 wins total and 7th seed.
    Also, Rockets won’t make playoffs, Howard will start stinking up the locker room and team chemistry by mid-season. Mavericks 3rd seed.

  107. It is a good hire not a great hire but Byron is a Laker man 100%. When he did have talent…The Nets with Kidd…he coached well making it to the NBA Finals.
    He will impart one key ingredient that Coach MDA nor Brown couldn’t and that’s Lakers Lore.

    Given time and talent Byron could maybe win a ring(s) here but the Lakers need to be realistic about the next 2 to 3 years. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to quit throwing away the draft picks either.