Lakers assistant Thomas Scott, Byron's son, keeps optimism amid losses
BY MIKE BRESNAHAN, LA TIMES
This hasn't been easy for the Lakers, more than four months of historically bad basketball with little end in sight.
The boos have appeared at some games, and fan impatience has trickled into social-media horror shows with every loss, not to mention Nick Young adding to the fray with his own online rants.
One Lakers assistant coach tries to see only benefits amid all the losing. He's battling Mark Madsen for most-optimistic status on the staff.
"Everybody has an opinion and I understand people are passionate about the Lakers. I know I am," he said of fan reaction. "Some things you just don't pay attention to and some things you just don't check for. There may have been some things that have been said but [my father] has been doing this for so long that my attention span isn't really looking to see what people have to say. All I care about is helping the guys get better and have better chances to win."
His duties this season include player development, most recently some work with rookie Jordan Clarkson, and advance scouting assignments that send him to watch future opponents a few days before the Lakers play them.
"Sometimes it's hard to lose with all the work that goes in after you stayed up until 4 or 5 in the morning," he said. "It's been a grind in terms of ups and downs. But you get up the next day and you come ready to work. I'm just loving what I do. Every day I come in and I see the history of the Lakers and stuff, and it makes me want to work harder."
His work with Clarkson has involved film study and a supporting role when Clarkson works out with Steve Nash, a recent development that has turned into a weekly event.
"We're showing film to J.C. a lot and I see that he's got a lot of upside," Scott said. "Working with Steve and having Coach Scott and Kobe Bryant in his corner, you just can't mess that up. It's right there and he takes advantage of it."
Scott, 32, worked in the Development League with the Los Angeles D-Fenders last season and the Canton Charge from 2011 to 2013. He also spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers as a player development/video coach and the New Orleans Hornets as an assistant video coordinator, working for his father in both spots.
He is privy to some of the behind-the-scenes rehabilitation of rookie Julius Randle, who sustained a season-ending broken leg on opening night after the Lakers drafted him seventh overall last June.
"You just see the resilience he has in trying to come back from his injury," Scott said. "He's been coming in every day, getting his treatment, lifting weights. He comes in at night, works on his form with his shot. Not jumping, just working on the technical part of his shot. He hasn't made an excuse about being hurt."
One thing Scott doesn't hear about from players is being related to the head coach.
"They mess with me here and there but I mess with them right back. It's never about being the coach's son," he said. "Just messing with me on different stuff, where apparently wearing white socks with black shorts is something you can't do."
Then he lifts up the lower part of his sweats to reveal black socks and black shoes. He's a quick learner.