Lakers’ Byron Scott says he should have won more NBA titles as a player

first_imgThe Lakers won five NBA championships during the Showtime Era, with Scott experiencing three of those runs in 1985 and 1987 against Boston and 1988 against Detroit. Scott believed the Lakers defeated Boston in six games in the 1985 Finals after learning how to match the Celtics’ bruising style.“It’s amazing how the next year when we beat them, (the Celtics) were complaining about how physical we were,” Scott said. “We got more physical. But we were saying, ‘We’ll still do what we do and play just like they play. We’ll be a physical team just like they are and still play Laker basketball.’”Yet, Scott conceded “it’s human nature” that he often thinks about the Finals appearances that did not end in a championship parade. “When you’re a winner and have been in this organization,” Scott said, “you’re never satisfied.”A passing grade?Scott has considered all sorts of starting lineup combinations for the remainder of the 2014-15 season. But Scott said he has not yet thought about bringing shooting guard Wayne Ellington off the bench. He has averaged 13 points on 42.4-percent shooting in 20 games as a starter, most of them happening once Bryant suffered a season-ending injury to his right shoulder last month. “Wayne was basically, the last few years in this league, thought of as a catch-and-shoot guy,” Scott said. “He’s worked extremely hard on being able to put the ball on the floor and create his own shot.”The 27-year old Ellington signed with the Lakers before training camp to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal worth $1.1 million after spending his six NBA seasons on five other teams. Scott likes Ellington after also coaching him with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012-13. But Scott did not reveal if Ellington fits in the Lakers’ long-term plans. “You can tell he worked a lot on his game,” Scott said of Ellington. “The next step for him is to get to the basket a little bit more and get to the free-throw line. If he can do those things, he can be a good player for a long time in the league.” The memories still frustrate Lakers coach Byron Scott, even when he counts the three NBA championship rings on his fingers. Kobe Bryant told NBA TV recently he should have won seven NBA championships instead of five, the NBA Finals losses in 2004 to Detroit and 2008 to Boston still bothering him. Scott said, “I know exactly how he feels,” arguing the Lakers’ 1984 Finals loss to Boston and 1989 Finals loss to Detroit also should have turned out differently. “I think about it a lot. You can’t get them back. I was blessed and lucky enough to win three,” Scott said before the Lakers hosted the Celtics on Sunday at Staples Center. “But I should have five.”Scott believed the Celtics won three of the last four contests in the 1984 Finals because the Lakers reacted poorly to Kevin McHale’s clothesline on Kurt Rambis in Game 4. “We got so caught up into being physical and aggressive with them because of the way they were playing,” Scott said. “It took us out of our game. In my mind, the best team didn’t win that series.”Scott also argued the Pistons would not have swept the Lakers in the 1989 NBA Finals if not for his hamstring injury before the series as well as the one Magic Johnson suffered in Game 2. Scott declined to blame his hamstring injury on former Lakers coach Pat Riley having a mini-training camp prior to the Finals. But Scott believed the Lakers could have avoided that workload had Detroit not needed seven games to defeat Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals. Meanwhile, the Lakers won all 11 of their playoff games leading up to the 1989 Finals.“You wish we either didn’t run through the West or they didn’t take so long that we wouldn’t have to go to Santa Barbara and have a mini camp,” Scott said. “From a coaching standpoint, I knew exactly what Riles was doing. He wanted to keep us focused and ready.”Usually, the tactic worked. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more