… Championships. Byron Scott is letting the team know publicly that this Laker roster will be focused on defense.
Byron Scott has four guaranteed years with the Lakers. This allows him to bring in the culture and mindset that he wants to implement onto the team. Mike Brown had a few chances, but never a full training camp. Mike D’Antoni could never really win the team over with his offensive schemes.
This time it’s different. There’s Laker blood in the Laker coach.
A mindset based on defense is what got Byron Scott success very quickly as a head coach. After a rough first year with the New Jersey Nets, they were ranked fifth in defense in 2002 and second in defense in 2003. Opponents averaged 92 points in 2002 and 90.1 points per game in 2003. Jason Kidd lead a high-octane offense for a team that averaged roughly 104 points per game in both of those seasons. While the Nets won 49 and 52 games respectively, they did reach the Finals.
He carried that same mindset when he moved to the New Orleans Hornets. During their two best regular seasons with Byron as a head coach, the Hornets were ranked fifth in defense for consecutive years, giving up 95.6 and 94.3 points to the opponent.
Byron Scott knows he needs to win over the team in a way that Mike D’Antoni and Mike Brown couldn’t do before him. He can do that by relating to the players and instilling Laker culture. He can do that through his relationship with Kobe Bryant. He can do that based on the principles he learned during the 1980′s to win championships along with his early success as a head coach.
Laker fans disliked Mike D’Antoni’s offensive philosophy, because it was assumed he focused only on one side of the floor. It’s refreshing to know that Byron focuses on both ends of the floor, but puts the emphasis where the fans want it.
Byron has won championships. The fans have shared those championships with him. The Lakers can now trend towards the future, hopefully sharing championships down the line.