Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott and Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell #1 have a discussion in the first half .The Los Angeles Lakers played the Denver Nuggets in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. 11/3/2015 (photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles News Group)
The proud Lakers’ coach inherited his job a season after the franchise completed their worst finish since moving to Los Angeles over five decades ago. Yet, Byron Scott still talked about NBA championship aspirations. His first season ended with the Lakers’ worst record in the franchise’s 67-year-old history. Yet, Scott still talked during training camp about trying to make the NBA playoffs.
But with the Lakers (2-9) entering Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors (7-6) at Staples Center as the Western Conference’s second-worst team, Scott declined to predict the Lakers could make the playoffs.
“This team doesn’t have Magic [Johnson],” Scott said. “We have James [Worthy], but not in uniform. Cap isn’t here. I wont do that, no.”
It seems understandable now about Scott’s skepticism. But a reporter brought that up amid a conversation surrounding the undefeated Golden State Warriors (13-0) and Scott’s memories of the “Showtime Lakers.”
Scott called the Warriors “by far, right now, they’re the best team in the league” after winning the 2015 NBA championship. He did not sound surprised the Warriors overcame a 23-point deficit on Thursday to defeat the Clippers. Scott argued the Warriors “don’t have that championship hangover.”
Scott then reflected on how the Lakers’ 1988 NBA championship team showed the same hunger after former Lakers coach Pat Riley infamously predicted the team would repeat in a speech at the 1987 NBA championship parade.
“When he said, guarantee, I knew vacation is over,” said Scott, who began training in early July as opposed to August. “We really have to come ready next year. We came back that year even more focused to do something that hadn’t been done in 20 years at that time.”
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