Culver City Observer -

Lakers Make Wise Move with Scott


By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

Byron Scott said Tuesday the Lakers' organization is all about winning championships. The former backcourt partner of Magic Johnson has become the Lakers' head coach

But don't expect a championship in the upcoming season. There are too many better teams in the NBA right now.

What fans should expect is a far better Laker team than last season and, at best, a chance of making the playoffs.

There was very little defense last season when Mike D'Antoni was the coach. There'll be much greater emphasis on defense now.

The offense will be pretty good with Kobe Bryant returning, Jeremy Linn directing the attack and Carlos Boozer and rookie Julius Randle providing muscle.

Former Laker greats Johnson, Jamal Wilkes and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attended Scott's press conference. They believe he's the right choice for the job.

"Hopefully, this is where we turn it around," said Abdul-Jabbar.

"We came here today to support Byron, our former teammate and to support the Laker organization," said Johnson.

"My one regret," said Scott,"'is Jerry Buss couldn't be here today."

The Laker owner who hs died frequently spoke fondly of Scott.

"I thought so too," said Scott. "That's why I remained confident when it took so long."

I've been critical of the Lakers the last few years, wondering why new owner Jim Buss would hire Mike Brown as coach and follow up with D'Antoni.

Finally, a combination of Jim Buss, Jeannie Buss and Mitch Kupchak got it right.

Scott has NBA coaching experience with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where his team won 44 percent of its games.

Laker fans expect a better winning percentage, but this will have to be a work in progress. Bryant has only two years on his contract and who knows how the Lakers will be able to sign as free agents?


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