NBA Roundup (July 29): L.A. Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach choice

Associated Press Published:

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed Byron Scott is their new coach Monday night.

The Lakers finally made the long-anticipated announcement in a news release. Scott was introduced at a news conference Tuesday at the Lakers' training complex.

Scott told reporters last weekend he had been hired by the Lakers, who have been without a coach since Mike D'Antoni resigned April 30. Scott is the 25th head coach in the 16-time NBA champions' franchise history.

General manager Mitch Kupchak said he conducted "an extensive and thorough search" with owner Jim Buss.

"We're proud to welcome Byron back to the Lakers family as our next head coach," Kupchak said. "Byron has proven himself at the highest levels of the game as both a player and a coach in his almost 30 years of NBA experience. His leadership skills and track record for success make him the ideal person to lead this franchise forward."

Scott is 416-521 as a head coach for New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland, reaching two NBA Finals with the Nets. He has won three division titles, and he was the NBA's coach of the year in 2008.

Scott also was a shooting guard for the Lakers for 11 seasons, playing alongside Magic Johnson during the Showtime era. He was a teammate of Lakers star Kobe Bryant during his final NBA season, and Bryant has endorsed Scott for his new job.

"I am ecstatic to once again be a Laker and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mitch and the Buss family," Scott said. "I know firsthand what it takes to bring a championship to this city, and as someone who both grew up in L.A. and played the majority of my career here, I know how passionate and dedicated our fans are. I will give everything I have to fulfill the championship expectations that our supporters have for us, and that we have for ourselves."

Scott spent last season as an analyst on the Lakers' television network, watching their disintegration during a 55-loss season, the most in franchise history. Bryant played just six games last season.

The Lakers interviewed several coaching candidates over the past three months, including Lionel Hollins and George Karl. Scott has been widely considered the front-runner for the job since early summer, but Kupchak and Buss appeared to be more focused on the NBA Draft and free agency than their current team's leadership.

In other NBA news:

Grizzlies officially name wallace new GM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera has removed the interim tag and named Chris Wallace as Memphis' general manager, signing him to a multi-year contract keeping him with the franchise.

Pera announced the deal Tuesday but did not disclose any terms.

Wallace had been serving as interim general manager since a front office shake-up May 19. The controlling owner said in a statement that Wallace had been at the front of some of the Grizzlies' biggest successes with experience in Memphis and the NBA making him the ideal fit to lead basketball operations.

Wallace originally was hired as general manager and vice president of basketball operations in June 2007, and he put together most of the starters that have keyed a team-record four straight playoff berths.

Mavs sign forward Ivan Johnson after year in China

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks have signed forward Ivan Johnson after he started all five games for their summer league team.

Johnson averaged 7.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in the Las Vegas league. The contract was announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 Johnson played last season with Zhejiang Chouzhou in China. He averaged 26 points and 9.9 rebounds in 24 games.

Johnson played 125 games over two seasons with Atlanta ending in 2013. He has career averages of 6.5 points and 3.9 rebounds.

The 30-year-old Johnson started his pro career in the NBA Development League with Rio Grande Valley and Anaheim.

Suns' P.J. Tucker faces 'extreme drunken driving' charge

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phoenix forward P.J. Tucker was charged with 'extreme drunken driving' two months before he signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract -- $12.7 million guaranteed -- with the Suns.

Scottsdale police say Tucker had a blood alcohol level of .222 percent nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 for operating a vehicle in Arizona.

Tucker's Mercedes Benz was pulled over by a Scottsdale police officer on May 10. The police report says Tucker's speech was slurred and eyes were bloodshot, and he nearly fell over during the sobriety test.

Tucker's attorney Melanie Beauchamp declined on Tuesday to comment on the arrest. The Suns said they were aware of the incident but had no comment while the case remains in court.

Tucker signed his contract with the Suns last week.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.