Before the Los Angeles Lakers took the floor against the division rival Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, head coach Byron Scott was asked about the Magic Johnson’s recent comments about the team.
Scott initially laughed at Magic’s comments, but then answered the question by saying the following, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“That’s easy to say, but when you’re behind the scenes and you’re in the trenches and you’re coaching, that’s not something you want to do,” Scott said. “I don’t think our players look at it that way. We have to try to go out here and win every game possible. If you lose games it’s one thing. But to go out and try to lose, that’s a different story. That sends a message to those guys in there that it goes back to a losing mentality. We don’t want to create that here.”
Magic made some controversial comments recently that surfaced ahead of the Lakers matchup against the Kings. Johnson said the team should continue to lose in order to focus on the future of the franchise with draft picks being an important piece to the puzzle.
Scott also went on to say that there’s no guarantee the Lakers would land the top pick, via Medina:
“I know Earvin and how competitive he is and understand where he’s coming from,” Scott said. “But to lose every game and get the No. 1 pick? That doesn’t guarantee you get the No. 1 pick.”
Unlike Lakers stars of the past like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol, Johnson was acquired by the team in the draft as the first pick in 1979. James Worthy was also a draft pick with the team taking the versatile forward with the top overall pick in 1982.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for this franchise. So much can happen between now and the end of the season in April, but it would be unwise to count out the Lakers in terms of being able to turn it around sooner rather than later.[divide]
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