Former Lakers coach Byron Scott said he “felt betrayed, lied to and deceived” by former GM Mitch Kupchak and former team president Jim Buss, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News writes. Scott said that the pair of executives promised him that the team would pick up his third-year option on his contract and he believes that they made him a scapegoat for the franchise’s struggles during Kobe Bryant‘s final season. He also believes the front office used him to manage Bryant.
“If I asked him to do certain things, Kobe would do it because of his respect for me,” said Scott. “Basically, you just wanted me there to help you guys get through the next two years, so Kobe doesn’t go crazy on you guys. I would be the one that can handle it. They know me. I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to be intimidated by anybody.”
Here’s more from Los Angeles:
- Scott remains a big fan of Julius Randle, but he’s not as bullish on D’Angelo Russell, Medina passes along in the same piece. “I don’t know if his work ethic has gotten any better. Some of the people I’ve talked to in the organization said that it hasn’t,” Scott said of Russell. “I just wish him all the best. The maturity level will catch up to him sooner or later when he realizes it’s an honor and a privilege to be in the NBA and be in the position that he’s in. He has to take full advantage of it.”
- Team president Magic Johnson only considers one player on the Lakers to be untouchable, Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com relays. “I would say probably the only player that we would say, hey, we would probably not move is Brandon Ingram,” Johnson in an ESPN radio appearance. “I think that we’re excited about Brandon, his length, his size, his agility, his athleticism. And then when you think about, you know, he was a baby coming in, in his first year last season and we see that he really has a high ceiling and we’re excited about what he can possibly turn into.”
- The Lakers have hired Gunnar Peterson as their Director of Strength and Endurance Training, per NBA.com. Peterson has worked with many entertainers and athletes as a fitness trainer.