Byron Scott wished he played his veteran players more minutes: The past week gave Byron Scott plenty of time to reflect over losing a dream job he will forever cherish. He believed he would bring the Lakers back to championship glory after experiencing that three times wearing a purple and gold uniform. But as he wore a suit on the sidelines, Scott oversaw the Lakers finish the past two seasons with the worst record in franchise history in consecutive years. -- Los Angeles Daily News
Kobe Bryant to partner with Sports Illustrated on animated film: For a player who devoted countless hours on the hardwood, it did not take long for Kobe Bryant to find his other calling. After sharing during his 20th and final NBA season that he loves storytelling, Bryant made a significant leap toward tackling that craft. Bryant’s production company, “Kobe Studios,” partnered with Sports Illustrated Group & Believe Entertainment Group to produce various multi-platform video projects. -- Los Angeles Daily News
Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott said he was "surprised" and "shocked" that he was fired from his position last week, adding that he believed management would give him at least one more season to try to turn around the rebuilding team.
Discussing Lakers' brass Wednesday on ESPN's The Jump with Rachel Nichols, Scott said, "When you have conversations with guys, you take them for their word. And that's what I did. Our conversation a couple of years ago was, 'This is a rebuilding process. It's going to take two to three years. It's going to be very tough. Are you OK with that?' And as I stated, I said, 'Yeah I'm OK with it. Are you guys OK with it? If you can deal with it, I can deal with it.'"
The Lakers parted ways with Scott after the team posted their two worst seasons ever under him, winning just 38 games in that span and posting a franchise-worst 17-65 record this past season, the second-worst record in the NBA.
Scott's deal with the team included a team option for next season that was not picked up. Earlier this week on the "Dan Patrick Show," Scott said the Lakers' decision "blindsided" him, which Scott explained further Wednesday.
"And so when I said I was 'blindsided' by it, I figured I at least had another year to get this thing turned around, and I was preparing for that and looking forward to next year," Scott said on ESPN's The Jump. "And then boom, that happened, and I said, 'Wow.'
"That kind of surprised me, shocked me a little bit, and then went home, thought about it for a few hours, woke up Monday morning, and said, 'Hey, I'm going to go to the gym to get a workout in and start thinking about life after coaching.'"
When Scott, who won three championships with the Lakers as a player in the 1980s, was informed of the Lakers' decision, he said he didn't immediately ask why he wasn't given another year.
Golden State Warriors starting small forward Harrison Barnes will enter July as a restricted free agent after he and the team failed to finalize an extension by the deadline on Nov. 2. Barnes will draw a lot of attention on July 1 and one of the teams that might have interest is the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I think he’s capable of averaging 18 a game here if the Lakers sign him and brought him here.” Lakers analyst Mychal Thompson said during his show on ESPN LA radio, according to Bay Area News Group. “I think he could be more of a featured scorer, maybe a No. 2 option, maybe even a No. 1 on certain nights. He’s capable of putting up in the high-20s. He’s a very good shooter, can get to the basket, very athletic. He just hasn’t been asked to do very much in Golden State, but coming here, he’d be asked to do more, and I think he could."
The Lakers will have at least $57 million in salary cap room once July begins, so they can easily offer Barnes a max contract that could start around $21 million. The Warriors are expected to match most potential offer sheets, however a max deal might be too high for them.
With Luke Walton leaving the Warriors to take the Lakers' head coach job, he might ask Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak to speak with Barnes on July 1. The Lakers need to upgrade the small forward position and that might be their priority in free agency should they have to send their 2016 first round pick to Philadelphia.
"I'm going to Disneyland!"
The five-time NBA champion who spent his entire 20-year career in Los Angeles was spotted at the theme park on Sunday, much to the delight of fans who were also enjoying The Happiest Place on Earth.
Bryant hasn't announced any post-retirement plans, whether in the NBA or otherwise, but he seems to be enjoying a life that doesn't involve a complex daily routine to get his body ready for the rigors of basketball. Riding Heimlich's Chew Chew Train is probably a lot more fun than sitting in an ice bath.