Lakers Coach Byron Scott fires back at Carlos Boozer

Lakers Coach Byron Scott fires back at Carlos Boozer
Lakers forward Carlos Boozer talks with Coach Byron Scott during a Dec. 3 game against the Washington Wizards. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Let there be no doubt: Byron Scott is the Lakers' coach.

His first big move drew a thumbs-down from Carlos Boozer, but Scott wasn't worrying about it Tuesday. Boozer had said he differed in opinion from Scott after being benched for defensive-minded reasons.


"He's not the coach," Scott said Tuesday. "It's my opinion."

Will Scott clear the air with the 13-year veteran?

"I didn't need to necessarily talk to Jeremy [Lin]. He came to me," Scott said. "So, no, I don't feel I need to clear the air."

Lin, like Boozer, was demoted to second string before the Lakers' 104-87 loss Sunday to New Orleans. Lin sought out Scott that morning and discussed in-depth what needed to be done to improve his game (hint: defense). Lin took the demotion hard, later calling it "one of the toughest situations I've been in."

Boozer took a different approach. He and Scott did not discuss the demotion and Boozer failed to talk to reporters after Sunday's game. He made them wait more than 45 minutes a day later.

When he finally emerged Monday afternoon for an interview, Boozer said he disagreed with Scott's defensive-driven decision.

"That's just his opinion. I have a different opinion. I'll keep it to myself," Boozer said.

Boozer’s replacement, Ed Davis, is the better defensive player, though his offensive game doesn't compare to Boozer's outside touch.

Scott said he thought Boozer "played OK" against New Orleans.

"But I thought Ed and Ronnie [Price] and that starting unit got exactly what we talked about in that first half especially, where the guys were much, much better on that defensive end of that floor," Scott said. "From Day 1, we've talked about that. That's got to be our M.O. That's got to be the thing that we're going to start doing on a night-to-night basis. When we start doing it on a night-to-night basis, then we'll start winning games. But if we keep going up and down, then there will probably be more changes made."

Price had three points and three assists after replacing Lin in the starting lineup against New Orleans. Lin had three points and four assists off the bench.

Boozer and Davis each scored 12 points against New Orleans.

The Lakers (5-16) play host to Sacramento on Tuesday.