Lakers finalize Byron Scott’s coaching staff

New Lakers head coach Byron Scott at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

New Lakers head coach Byron Scott at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

The Lakers completely rounded out Byron Scott’s coaching staff in exactly 13 days before training camp begins.

The new revelations, which the Lakers announced on Tuesday, entailed Clay Moser will become one of Scott’s assistants while video coordinator Tom Bialaszewski and video coordinator/player development coach J.J. Outlaw will stay on staff. The basketball operations department also promoted Rondre Jackson to the team’s director of player development after overseeing Club Lakers, while hiring Jordan Wilkes as a basketball operations assistant. Wilkes starred at the University of California (2005-2009) and is the son of Jamaal Wilkes, who played on the Showtime Lakers.

It was already reported in this outlet that the rest of Scott’s staff would include assistants Paul Pressey, Jim Eyen and Mark Madsen as well as assistant/player development coaches Larry Lewis and Thomas Scott, who is Byron’s son.

“I’m excited to have completed my staff with a group of individuals who each possess unique skills, but all share my vision for the future of this team,” Scott said in a statement. “Paul is a great basketball mind with vast experience and someone with whom I have worked before, while Jim returns to the Laker family with a proven track record and a tremendous amount of respect around the league. Thomas has worked very hard through the ranks of the video department, player development and the NBA Development League to earn this position. I’m delighted to retain Mark, Clay, Larry, Tom and J.J., who are all highly qualified and have worked tirelessly with our players throughout the summer to prepare for next season. I can say with certainty that our staff is dedicated to upholding the winning culture and tradition of the Los Angeles Lakers.”
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Byron Scott photo gallery

"New Lakers head coach Byron Scott at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)"

“New Lakers head coach Byron Scott at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)”

You read about Lakers coach Byron Scott preaching about wanting to win an NBA championship even if hefty challenges await. You read about Scott stressing he will stay firm in limiting Kobe Bryant’s minutes, both to maximize his productivity and ensure long-term health. You read about Scott’s tentative starting lineup that currently favors the Lakers’ veteran players. You read about Scott’s revelation that Xavier Henry might be limited during training camp because of his left wrist and right knee have not fully healed since having surgery four months ago. You read about Scott nearly finalizing the rest of his coaching staff.

But pictures always tell a 1,000 words. And in the case of LANG’s photo gallery of Scott’s exclusive interview at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo, plenty of images tell various stories.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers’ Byron Scott tentatively penciling in veterans as starters

"Lakers head coach Byron Scott talks about the upcoming NBA season at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze) "

“Lakers head coach Byron Scott talks about the upcoming NBA season at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze) “

Amid the shrieking whistles, swishing nets and perhaps profanity-laced trashtalk, another sound might emerge that provides the soundtrack to capture the beginning of Lakers’ training camp.

Players puking in trash cans.

To anticipate that possibility, Lakers coach Byron Scott will place four trash bins on each corner of the court for a simple reason. “I don’t want guys throwing up on my floor,” Scott said. He reported four undisclosed players needed to hunch over during his stints with the New Jersey Nets (2000-2004), New Orleans Hornets (2004-09) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-2013), using a series of demanding conditioning and defensive oriented drills to expose immediately any of his players’ weaknesses.

“The first day is going to be tough,” Scott said Tuesday in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper. “I want to see which guys are ready and prepared, who’s in shape and who’s not. I’ll find out on the first day.”

Yet, before the Lakers even reach that point three weeks from now, Scott already has a tentative depth chart that currently favors the team’s veterans. Kobe Bryant is an obvious no-brainer, his Hall of Fame credentials vastly outweighing playing only six games last season because of overlapping left Achilles and left knee injuries. Scott reported favoring Steve Nash over Jeremy Lin at point guard, Carlos Boozer over Julius Randle at power forward and Jordan Hill over Robert Sacre at center, a product Scott feeling currently more comfortable with experienced veterans over young, developing players.

“That’s how I look at it right now,” Scott said. “But when the ball is thrown up September 30th, if the next guy can beat the guy in front of them, so be it.”

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Lakers’ Byron Scott believes he can hold firm on limiting Kobe Bryant’s minutes


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The smile widened as Byron Scott talked about Kobe Bryant. Scott’s eyes lit up as he recalled mentoring Bryant his rookie year during the 1996-97 season, sensing then that Bryant was already “something special” with his strongly developed game, unmatched work ethic and inquisitive curiosity about NBA history. Scott gushed about Bryant organizing informal workouts this summer with a handful of teammates.

Underneath all of those positive vibes revealed Scott’s unrelenting optimism on how Bryant will actually perform in the 2013-14 season. Scott chuckled at all the doubt surrounding Bryant, who lasted only six games last season because of overlapping left Achilles and left ankle injuries.

“I see a guy who’s going to average 20 something points a game, will have a great year and have a lot of people eating crow,” Scott said Tuesday in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper. “I’m glad people are saying [otherwise]. Keep adding it. It motivates him that much more. It makes my job easier.”

Yet, Scott’s job as the Lakers coach will hardly be easy. He will oversee a team that finished last season with the worst record in L.A. franchise history. Scott will have to bolster a defense that 29th in points allowed (109.2), 24th in defensive field goal percentage (46.8) and 30th in fast-break points allowed (16.7). And Scott will also have to put his strong relationship with Bryant to good use, finding the right balance in leaning on Bryant’s expertise and skillset without overly taxing his 36-year-old body.

Scott reported Bryant as fully healthy from his left knee injury and looked impressed with his offseason workouts. Yet, Scott said he will have to limit Bryant. He will probably sit out in the second practice of the three two-a-day sessions Scott tentatively has scheduled once training camp begins in three weeks. Bryant will likely skip select regular-season practices so he can receive additional rest and treatment. Scott also conceded the possibility that Bryant will either miss the second night of back-to-back games, or face reduced minutes the first game so he can play the following night.

“The key is our communication,” Scott said. “Kobe knows me pretty well and I know him pretty well. I know how stubborn he is. He knows how stubborn I am. There’s going to be times we’re butting heads. But it’s all because we want to win. But I also don’t want to play a guy like Kobe in game 58 just to get that win and then risk his health for game 82 when we have a chance to go into the playoffs. I have to be real smart that I stick to my guns as far as minutes are concerned even if it costs us a game or two.”
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Photo gallery of Byron Scott talking to Compton Centennial High students

"Lakers coach Byron Scott talks to students as he announced his participation as a mentor in Centennial High School’s Male Academy in Compton, CA. Tuesday August 19, 2014. The academy is a intervention program for the school’s ninth and tenth grade male students. Throughout the school year, Scott will visit the students to mentor as well as participate in motivational discussions. (Thomas R. Cordova-Daily Breeze/Press-Telegram)"

“Lakers coach Byron Scott talks to students as he announced his participation as a mentor in Centennial High School’s Male Academy in Compton, CA. Tuesday August 19, 2014. The academy is a intervention program for the school’s ninth and tenth grade male students. Throughout the school year, Scott will visit the students to mentor as well as participate in motivational discussions. (Thomas R. Cordova-Daily Breeze/Press-Telegram)”

You read about Lakers coach Byron Scott talking on Tuesday to students at Compton Centennial High as part of the school’s Male Academy program. You read about Scott saying that outside of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers’ starting positions remains “up for grabs” during next month’s training camp. You read about Scott saying he hopes to have his coaching staff finalized by the end of this week.

But pictures always tell a 1,000 words. And in the case of LANG’s photo gallery of Scott’s appearance Tuesday at Compton Centennial High, plenty of images tell various stories.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Byron Scott hopes to have coaching staff finalized by end of week

Lakers head coach Byron Scott talks about the upcoming NBA season at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

Lakers head coach Byron Scott talks about the upcoming NBA season at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

The busy four months that entailed countless job interviews and subsequent waiting has since passed for Byron Scott. Ever since the Lakers named Scott as their next head coach this weeks ago, his schedule has since accelerated into overdrive.

Scott’s itinerary has mostly entailed putting together his coaching staff. He confirmed that veteran assistant Jim Eyen and player development coach Mark Madsen will stay on his staff, but he said the rest of his assistants will be finalized “hopefully by the end of this week.”

“I want to get everybody in by next week so we can start meeting and talk about what we’re going to do in training camp,” Scott said Tuesday at Compton Centennial High, where he addressed a group of 400 freshmen and sophomores as part of the school’s male academy intervention program. “I want to get guys on the floor to show what I want to do offensively as well. I want to get on the floor. I don’t want to just write it on paper. I want guys to be on the floor so we can actually go through offensively what we’re going to do and what we’re going to do on the defensive end as well. Hopefully we’ll be in high gear.”

Scott declined to say which other candidates will join his staff. But it’s widely assumed from those in the league that his son, Thomas, will serve a role after coaching with the D-Fenders, the Lakers’ Development League affiliate. Johnny Davis and player development coach Larry Lewis are also both under contract with the Lakers.

Scott also reported talking frequently with Kobe Bryant.

“I’m anxious. I’m excited. I’m jumping up and down and waiting for this thing to get going,” Scott said. “I’m talking to Kobe every few days, how he’s working out and how the guys he’s been working out with are doing. That, to me, is exciting. He’s showing the leadership and mentorship himself in getting all the young ones with him and getting together for training camp.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Byron Scott confident he can coexist with Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, looks to pass around Indiana Pacers forward Paul George in an NBA basketball game in March 2013.  Bryant played only six games last season. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, looks to pass around Indiana Pacers forward Paul George in an NBA basketball game in March 2013. Bryant played only six games last season. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

In 1996, an 18-year-old Kobe Bryant just starting his NBA career, shared a sideline with Byron Scott, who was ending his own. Faded photos almost two decades old show the pair sitting next to each other on the sideline, dressed in bright yellow warm up suits: the rookie and the veteran.

This season, they will be the aging superstar and the new coach.

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Magic Johnson on the ruling in Donald Sterling case: (Smiles)

At today’s press conference introducing Byron Scott as head coach of the Lakers, Magic Johnson was asked about his response to the ruling in the Donald Sterling case – allowing the sale to Steve Ballmer to proceed. Here’s what he said:

“What’s my reaction to the Sterling ruling? What do you think my reaction to the Sterling thing is? (Smiles) Do you see this? I don’t think you see this. (Laughs) I don’t have anything bad to say about him right now. I’ve said already that I’m praying for the man. But it’s a great day for Clipper fans, for this city. Ballmer is going to be an exciting owner, and a good owner for the Clippers. You talk about a guy who wants to win, and who loves basketball. He’s going to do everything he can to put them in a championship position because he wants to win so bad. You have to give Shelly a lot of credit. This was tough for her. But I respect what he did. I have no ill-feelings toward Donald. It was too bad what happened. But when you’ve been discriminated against this long, this is what happened. I hoped that this thing would end soon because we need to get back to our lives and you guys need to start cheering for the Dodgers as we approach the playoffs.”

From Jill Painter, Los Angeles News Group

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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