Lakers executive Jim Buss was effusive in his praise for the work Luke Walton did while coaching the Warriors in Steve Kerr‘s absence this season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays. “He was thrust into a situation. People might say, ‘Anyone could coach Golden State with their roster.’ No you couldn’t have,” Buss told Pincus. “There’s a lot of pressure in that. There’s a lot of preparation for that.”
Regarding the Lakers waiting 11 days prior to making a decision on former coach Byron Scott‘s fate, Buss told Pincus he thought he was simply being fair to Scott. “There was a lot to go through before that decision was made,” Buss said. “I’m not going to have a knee-jerk reaction because everybody says, ‘You won 17 games, he’s got to go.’ I made a promise to sit with him and [GM] Mitch [Kupchak] and give him a fair shake.”
Here’s more from out West:
- The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Ryan Anderson (Arizona), Trey Freeman (Old Dominion), Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson), Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin), Matt Costello (Michigan State) and Andrew White (Nebraska), the team announced.
- Former Oklahoma power forward Ryan Spangler has a workout scheduled with the Thunder on Thursday, Royce Young of ESPN.com tweets.
- The contributions from Festus Ezeli, in particular, and Ian Clark were vital for the Warriors in their Game 2 victory over Portland on Tuesday, observes Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Both are poised for restricted free agency this summer.
- Jameer Nelson still has two seasons remaining on his contract with the Nuggets, but he isn’t keen on remaining on the bench as the team’s third point guard for another campaign, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post in his analysis of the 12th-year veteran. Nelson wouldn’t hesitate to have his agent ask the Nuggets to trade him if it looks like he won’t get more playing time, Dempsey wrote previously. In 39 appearances, Nelson averaged 7.7 points, 4.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He shot 36.8% from the field overall and 29.9% from beyond the 3-point line.