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Byron Scott: NBA Coach & Player

NBA Coach & Player

Eight-year-old Byron Scott would spend several hours every day, seven days a week practicing basketball on the courts across the street from the Fabulous Forum, the former Inglewood, California, home of the Los Angeles Lakers. In Scott's mind, he was on the floor of that great basketball palace, just a few hundred yards away, playing with Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Bill Sherman and his personal hero, Bob McAdoo. Scott could hear the crowd of 17,505 cheer his name after hitting the last "buzzer beater." This little boy with an impossible dream knew that it was time to head home, back to a world of drugs, gangs and bullets senselessly aimed at everyone just blocks away. Year after year, as Byron Scott practiced for endless hours on those asphalt basketball courts, he would tell anyone who would listen, "Someday I'm going to be a Los Angeles Laker!"

Byron Scott graduated from Arizona State University and was the fourth pick in the 1983 draft, taken by the San Diego Clippers and traded to the Lakers for Norm Nixon and Eddie Jordon. He spent 10 years with the Lakers "team of the 80's," winning three NBA championships in 1985, 1987 and 1988. Byron Scott played with Hall of Fame inductees Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabar, James Worthy and was coached by Pat Riley.

Byron Scott left the Lakers in 1993 and signed as a free agent with the Indiana Pacers where he spent two years as a veteran player under Coach Larry Brown. In 1995, he was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies in the NBA expansion draft. Scott returned to the Lakers as a free agent in 1996 before he signed on to play in Greece in 1997. The Greek Team, Panathinaikos, had not won a championship in 13 years. Receiving the largest contract ever offered to a player in Europe, Byron Scott led Panathinaikos to a championship and scored 21 points in the final game becoming a European All-Star and Most Valuable Player in the process.

After leading his team, Panathinaikos AC to victory, Byron Scott had earned the highest possible basketball awards on two continents. Turning down an multimillion dollar offer to play a second season in Europe, and courted by no less than six NBA teams, at age 37, Scott decided it was time to replace a players uniform for a suit and tie. Following his mentors Jerry West, Coach Pat Riley, Coach Larry Brown, Coach Del Harris and Coach Mike Dunleavy, Byron entered into the field of NBA coaching. Within days of making his decision, Byron Scott was hired by Coach Rick Adelman, the Sacramento Kings to make the NBA play-offs for the first time in 13 years.

During the two years that Byron Scott served as an assistant coach under the direction of Coach Adelman, the Sacramento Kings earned a play-off position and a reputation as one of the most explosive and exciting teams in the NBA. In June 2000, the Sacramento Kings were just one game short of stopping the Championship Lakers in the first round of the NBA play-offs, beating the Lakers in both play-off games in Arco Arena.

After the Kings last season, Byron Scott was ready to make his move to head coach. After interviewing with such teams as the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks, Scott found the perfect fit and was named Head Coach of the New Jersey Nets working under the direction of General Manager Rod Thom.

Scott and his family, wife Anita and children Thomas, LonDen and DaRon have relocated to Livingston, New Jersey.


* Ranks 77th all-time in NBA history with 14,571 points

* Is the Lakers' all-time career leader in three-point field goals made (522) and attempted (1,407) and ranks 4th in steals (992) and 7th in points (24,093) and games (767)

* Led the Lakers in scoring in 1987-88, averaging a career-best 21.7 ppg, and in steals (1.91 spg)

* Has appeared in 175 career playoff games, averaging 13.7 ppg and 3.0 rpg, and was a member of the NBA champion L.A. Lakers in 1985, 1987 and 1988

* Scored his 10,000th career point against the San Antonio Spurs on 3/17/91

* Led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (.433) in 1984-85

* Named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in I 984 after averaging 10.6 p.p.g. for the Lakers

* Selected by the San Diego Clippers in the first round (4th overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft

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