On Friday afternoon, the Lakers Twitter account was taken over by new head coach Byron Scott for a Q/A session with fans using the #AskByron hashtag. The new Los Angeles skipper took questions for close to an hour. Here are the ten best responses from Scott:
The NBA rookie class participated in an AMA on Reddit Sunday (for those non-Redditors, AMA stands for Ask Me Anything) and a couple questions asked were answered by Lakers rookie Julius Randle, who stole the thread.
Randle took questions on Rookie of the Year awards, his NBA 2K rating and playing with Kobe Bryant.
Reports by ESPN and confirmed by the L.A. Daily News have stated that the Los Angeles Lakers brought in free agent forward Michael Beasley for a workout Wednesday at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo.
With Byron Scott now the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the former member of the Showtime Lakers gets the chance to coach one of the best players in NBA history in Kobe Bryant.
But he also gets to coach on the most talented young prospects in the league in lottery pick and power forward Julius Randle. At Scott’s introductory press conference on Tuesday, Scott was asked his thoughts on the promising Randle and gave a flattering review:
The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t exactly hit the home runs they were hoping for in free agency after going after superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and ultimately losing out to Cleveland and New York.
But the roster additions they were able to make, which include Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis, were enough to have new head coach Byron Scott excited. Continue reading
Magic Johnson got riled up by one student asking a question during his talk at Long Beach State University Monday evening. How does he think he would do if he played in the NBA today?
“If I played in this era, it would be over,” said Johnson. “See right now, there is no hand check. Back in my day, you could hand check. You could hard foul. They got private planes now. We had to take commercial and we were still winning 62 games. And all they do is shoot jumpers today too.”
“Don’t get me started, I’m sweating like I’m getting ready to play.”
While Johnson said he would thrive in today’s scoring friendly game, he offered up a couple players that could play in his NBA era. Those names included Lakers star Kobe Bryant and the Heat’s LeBron James.
“Could you imagine Michael Jordan with no hand checking? Larry Bird?” said Johnson.
At that point, Johnson went back on stage to demonstrate his rivalry with Bird and Jordan and their notorious trash talking. He showed the crowd how Bird would call his shots and ask why Johnson was bothering trying to stop his shot, moments before sinking the attempt. Or the time the Celtic great asked his peers during a three-point shooting contest who was coming in second because he was taking first.
“Larry Bird was unbelievable, up here with this,” said Johnson, pointing to his head. “That’s why Kobe is so dominate. He’s got game but his basketball IQ is off the charts.”
Lakers great Magic Johnson spoke to students at Long Beach State University Monday evening, giving life and business advice to the sold out crowd, which was closed off to the public. And two students were able to ask a very candid question: Is Magic interested in buying the Clippers?
“I don’t know what me and my group are going to do,” said Johnson in response. “But I will say this, 20 people have already called me interested in partnering up with me, so money will not be an option.”
When the initial question was asked, many cheered. But there were some boos (presumably from the many Lakers fans in the crowd). Johnson also admitted it would be a “battle for him personally” to pursue the Clippers’ purchase given his allegiance to the Lakers.
“I really truly love the Lakers,” said Johnson. “I am a Laker. So that will be interesting.”
Johnson, who has admitted he would love to own an NBA franchise, has been rumored to be eying the Clippers, hoping to be add to his Southern California empire that includes the Dodgers and the L.A. Sparks. Johnson also said during the talk that he would love to bring the NFL back to L.A.
His interest comes in the wake of Donald Sterling’s lifetime ban from the NBA for his racist comments, which mentioned Johnson.
“It’s a sad day. Racism. Discrimination. It’s why we still have to go through that, ‘Here we are in 2014,” said Johnson. “While I was upset, I feel sorry for him, living in the past. It’s just uncalled for.”
The Lakers’ great reminded the audience that the Clippers are not actually for sale as of yet, with the NBA owners still needing to vote Sterling out. Johnson figured that sale would not happen for another eight months to a year.
“There is no way that man walks away without a battle,” said Johnson.
The notion of buying the Clippers came up earlier in the event, when a audience member shouted it out during a pause in questions. The room, and Johnson, burst into laughter. But there were still some boos.
“Don’t do it,” someone shouted.
Magic Johnson’s talk with Long Beach State University students at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on Monday night was a night filled with laughs and that trademark Magic smile.
But there were also tear-jerking moments.
Johnson was asked in the early portion of the Q/A what marked his favorite moment with former Lakers owner Dr. Buss, who passed away last year in February. Johnson said there was too many to choose from, but ultimately decided on his final moment with Buss.
The former Lakers great told the crowd the story of when he went to visit Buss in the hospital, being told by Buss’ daughter, Jeanie, that he was not doing very well.
“I went into the hospital room and he just perked up. And we just started talking about the run that we had, all the championships and all the moments we had together. We sat there for hours, just talking and laughed. And I was thanking him for being a father figure,” said Johnson. “And I knew I was saying goodbye. So I held his hand and we got a chance to reminisce and talk about how we built the Lakers to what they are today.
“When we left each other we both just started crying, because we knew that was going to be the last time for both of us.”
During the Q/A portion of Magic Johnson’s “Evening With” series at Long Beach State University Monday evening, the former Lakers great was asked to choose between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
“Jordan over Kobe, even though I like Kobe a lot and Kobe is my man,” said Johnson. “But Michael Jordan never lost a Finals. Six trips and 6-0.”
“I love Kobe, but he is not Michael. But he’s the closest to (him) that we have ever seen. Kobe got game.”
Even though he called it an “easy” decision to pick Jordan over Bryant, Johnson did not hesitate to offer high praise of the Lakers superstar, who missed the majority of the season with knee injuries.
“I hope that (Kobe) is healthy so he can lead our Lakers back,” said Johnson. “He’s on my Mount Rushmore. He is unreal. Think about his mindset and attitude and how he can just do it night in and night out. That’s one thing great about Kobe. I love him.”
Johnson was also asked to choose between LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He said that was also an easy choice to make, seeing as James can beat an opponent in so many ways. But Johnson called Durant the MVP this season.
Chris Kaman will make his return to court for the Lakers and he isn’t even injured. Kaman, whose time on the court has ranged from starting to not playing a minute, will fill in for Pau Gasol against the Knicks, who is listed as doubtful with vertigo.
These will be the first meaningful minutes for the center in 12 games, seeing as he has only played four minutes combined in those dozen games. Kaman has currently gone 10-straight games without playing a single minute, which is the longest stretch this season for him. Prior to the playing time drought, Kaman was averaging 23.7 minutes in a 10-game stretch.
But that hot and cold situation with Kaman’s minutes does not worry D’ Antoni and his center’s ability to contribute after a long lull.
“I’ve always had confidence in him,” said D’ Antoni. “I think he’s played well, but obviously that position is a little weird and Jordan Hill you want to get him a lot of time. So it’s either very short minutes for him or he starts, and he’s a much better starter.
“It’s not his fault, it’s just the way it works out.”
Kaman declined to speak with media after the morning shoot around.