Magic Johnson’s message to Lakers coach Byron Scott was much different than his public advice, according to Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times. Johnson made headlines in early December when he said the Lakers should “lose every game” to improve their draft position. But privately, Johnson supported his former backcourt partner’s efforts to win. “When I saw him,” Scott said, “he just said, ‘You’re doing a great job. Just keep doing what you’re doing.'” The Lakers are currently 9-21 and rank fifth in Hoops Rumors’ Reverse Standings.
There’s more news from the Pacific Division:
- An inconsistent bench is holding back the Clippers, observes Jovan Buha of ESPNLosAngeles.com. He cites a poor job of running the second-team offense by Jordan Farmar, noting it often results in a Jamal Crawford isolation play, with everyone else standing and watching. He suggests that L.A. needs to make a move to solidify its bench before it can be considered a real contender in the West.
- The drafting of Stephen Curry in 2009 set off a chain of events that led the Warriors from the bottom to the top of the NBA, writes Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle. Thirteen months after selecting Curry, Golden State landed a major free agent in David Lee, then a week later dynamic owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the team. “You have to have guys who are willing to invest in the future, and that’s what Joe and Peter are about,” Curry said. “That shows in the coaching hires and the players they brought in.”
- Lacob also got high praise from Tim Kawakami of The Bay Area News Group, who honored the Warriors co-owner with his “Hitman of the Year Award” for excellence in Bay Area sports. The columnist praised a series of moves Lacob has made since taking over, but said he had a particularly strong year in 2014 by firing coach Mark Jackson and replacing him with Steve Kerr, and by refusing to part with Klay Thompson in a rumored deal for Kevin Love.