The touch of irony was there for all to see.
"We can't play that way. We don't have a
He wasn't kidding.
Despite the reality check of an aging roster recently filled with two discards from other teams, Tuesday was a feel-good day for the Lakers.
Scott was blunt and to the point but also somehow refreshing, a touch with yesteryear the franchise needed, even if it lasted only a short time.
Not long after his news conference was hijacked by supportive and light-hearted comments from Magic Johnson,
"The only thing I regret is that Dr. [
Scott, 53, said he would try to make his former teammates proud, as well as the Buss family.
And he wanted very little to do with pushing the pace on offense, saying he would run a hybrid of schemes, which in the recent past included mostly high screen-and-rolls.
There will also be a reliance on defense, Scott promised.
"The first thing that
It's a noble concept, especially for a team that allowed 109.2 points a game, 29th out of 30
Scott even threatened those that don't defend.
"They don't do it, I'll take them out of the game," he said. "The only thing that you can really control with players is their minutes. That gets their attention."
Barely touching on a team that finished 22 games out of a playoff spot last season, Scott looked ahead to the first day of training camp in the coming months.
He also didn't want to see smiling faces and locker-room fun after a loss: "It should hurt," he said.
The coaching search took almost three months — Mike D'Antoni resigned April 30 and Scott officially was hired Monday.
He got the news of his hire while traveling in the Bahamas, a vacation he jokingly said he needed not because of an excruciatingly long wait but because of all the probing queries from fans.
"I'm a little arrogant when it comes to that because I thought I was the right decision, so the waiting didn't really bother me. The only thing that bothered me were the questions I would get asked every day from fans, and that didn't really bother me, it just takes a toll after a while," he said.
Scott will want a lot out of
Bryant and Scott intersected one season on the court, in 1996-97 — Bryant's rookie year and Scott's last in a 14-year playing career.
"We've got still one of the best players in the league in Kobe Bryant. He's someone we'll have to lean on," Scott said.
Scott said he liked the feistiness of
"I don't want to put a lot of expectations on a young fellow like that. I think the sky's the limit," Scott said. "To get him at seven was a steal. The kid was probably top three."
A veteran of so many Lakers-Boston battles, be it the grueling seven-game loss to the
"I don't think L.A. has gone to the Clippers," he said. "This is still a Lakers town. Period."
Even though the Clippers have won seven of the last eight games against the Lakers and pounded them by a record-setting 48 points in March?
"We have two teams now, one that has about 17 banners and one that doesn't have any yet, but the rivalry is getting pretty good," he said. "But this is still a Laker town."
It will be tempting to move the ball quickly to try to score. Even Johnson said in a quiet aside to Scott as they posed for pictures Tuesday, "Bring 'Showtime' back, baby."
But one of the first things General Manager