PDA

View Full Version : Byron Scott tells it like it is: D'Angelo Russell 'is not Magic Johnson'



spreadeagle
07-18-2015, 12:09 PM
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott hails from the old school, and he's not one to blow sunshine up anyone's keister, whether it's a perennial D-Leaguer or the NBA's No. 2 draft pick.

Lakers rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell - taken second overall in this year's draft - wrapped up a disappointing Las Vegas Summer League on Friday, averaging 11.8 points, 3.2 assists, and 5.2 turnovers, while shooting 37.7 percent from the field and 11.8 percent from 3-point range as his squad went 1-4.

Scott didn't mince words when assessing the Lakers' projected point guard of the future, drawing a clear (if not entirely necessary) distinction between Russell and the franchise's last great point guard, who Scott played alongside once upon a time.

"Let's make this very clear, Russell is not Magic Johnson," he said, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. "Magic came on the scene, and instantly he's a Hall-of-Famer. D'Angelo has a way to go, there's no doubt about that.


Russell shot up draft boards in his lone season with the Buckeyes, papering over his lack of raw athleticism with crafty, herky-jerky drives, slick ballhandling, and wizardly passing - skills that led many to compare him to James Harden. The problems right now, Russell insists, start with his head.

"It's all mental," he said. "I don't feel like you need to be the strongest or fastest to get it done. I've never been that."

Scott, somewhat contradictorily, deems Russell's mental game one of his greatest assets.

"I still think the kid has the chance to be an unbelievable basketball player," Scott said. "His poise out there is still second to none, of what I saw of all the guys here at summer league." http://www.thescore.com/nba/news/796234

Clippersfan86
07-18-2015, 12:51 PM
Water is wet.

Teeboy1487
07-18-2015, 01:35 PM
Even at his best, he will never be magic. Magic is a once in a life time kind of player. If anyone including the Lakers thought this kid could be Magic, then they are setting themselves up for disappointment. I hate when people get wrapped up in all of these comparisons. Lets wait and see how Russell turn out. Let him be himself first.

Sactown
07-18-2015, 01:47 PM
It'll be interesting to see how he handles playing against easily the most stacked position in the NBA on a regular basis with his lack of athleticism on a nightly basis he will be lined up against extreme speed and strength

Westbrook
Wall
Lillard
Curry
Paul
Bledsoe
Jennings
Lowry
Holliday
Collison

Bruno
07-18-2015, 04:32 PM
we all know about how countless great point guards have struggled in summer league. Russell has an excellent ability to see passing lanes before they happen, and his college three point shot (deep mid range) is excellent. his mechanics are excellent.

my only concern is how slow his first step is. he struggles to split double teams against guys who might not even make the league. he can't probe for **** at this point in his career. the turnovers and shooting percentages don't concern me in the slightest, but his mediocre handle and inability to probe do (especially since Okafor has been so impressive). I don't think he'll be a bust, I think hell be a good player (just don't know how good). The only concern comes from how good Okafor looks.

jerellh528
07-18-2015, 04:39 PM
Meh, if you actually watch the interview you can see how this is a non issue and not close to being thread worthy. Just telling it like it is. He definitely wasn't dogging Russell at all.

flea
07-18-2015, 04:50 PM
we all know about how countless great point guards have struggled in summer league. Russell has an excellent ability to see passing lanes before they happen, and his college three point shot (deep mid range) is excellent. his mechanics are excellent.

my only concern is how slow his first step is. he struggles to split double teams against guys who might not even make the league. he can't probe for **** at this point in his career. the turnovers and shooting percentages don't concern me in the slightest, but his mediocre handle and inability to probe do (especially since Okafor has been so impressive). I don't think he'll be a bust, I think hell be a good player (just don't know how good). The only concern comes from how good Okafor looks.

Meh, Lakers went with flash - for the all the great bigs they've had in their history it's the guards they love. I think the top 2 teams bought in a little too much to the "it's a completely different NBA" crap. If either FO thought Okafor wasn't the best scorer in the draft, both now and in the future, then their FOs were stupid and should be gutted.

Russell has got to be a top-end shooter and distributor in order to be a better player than Okafor. What a weird year for the top 2 teams to pass on probably the best big man prospect since Yao.

IndyRealist
07-18-2015, 04:55 PM
Summer League. SUMMER LEAGUE. That is all.

LakerShow
07-18-2015, 05:08 PM
we all know about how countless great point guards have struggled in summer league. Russell has an excellent ability to see passing lanes before they happen, and his college three point shot (deep mid range) is excellent. his mechanics are excellent.

my only concern is how slow his first step is. he struggles to split double teams against guys who might not even make the league. he can't probe for **** at this point in his career. the turnovers and shooting percentages don't concern me in the slightest, but his mediocre handle and inability to probe do (especially since Okafor has been so impressive). I don't think he'll be a bust, I think hell be a good player (just don't know how good). The only concern comes from how good Okafor looks.

He is gonna be great. his first step is pretty much the same as brandon roy, and he wasnt the most quickest player. alot of fans are panicking after how okafor has played in the sl. other players as beasley and promising players have done good, but been crap later on.

GREATNESS ONE
07-18-2015, 05:15 PM
D looooooading.... PJ?

DODGERS&LAKERS
07-18-2015, 06:25 PM
Is this thread for real?

JasonJohnHorn
07-18-2015, 06:30 PM
And Kobe Bryant is not Michael Jordan. And LeBron James is not Harold Miner. And Ralph Sampson is not Shaq. And Shaq is not Wilt. And Wilt is not Reggie Miller. And Steph Curry is not Dell Curry.

Did somebody think that Magic was disguising himself as Russell to get back in the league or something? I think figuring out that one person is not another person would be rather obvious.

5ass
07-18-2015, 07:13 PM
Should've drafted Hezonja. :p

alexander_37
07-18-2015, 07:21 PM
So what, a big PG with a smooth shot, great vision, and good but not elite athleticism can do just fine. He may even become great.

Sactown
07-18-2015, 07:29 PM
So what, a big PG with a smooth shot, great vision, and good but not elite athleticism can do just fine. He may even become great.
He's a below average athlete for his position , regardless of how smooth his shot is (hasn't shown 3 point NBA range) or how good his passing is, he'll have a very hard time staying in front of the freak athletes the NBA has at the PG position right now

alexander_37
07-18-2015, 07:31 PM
He's a below average athlete for his position , regardless of how smooth his shot is (hasn't shown 3 point NBA range) or how good his passing is, he'll have a very hard time staying in front of the freak athletes the NBA has at the PG position right now

I'll let you figure out who else had that problem.

Hint his name is in the thread title.

Hawkeye15
07-18-2015, 07:36 PM
Idk, he reminds me of Brandon Roy, or like a shorter Jalen Rose.

I think he will be a very good player.

Phenom1
07-18-2015, 08:18 PM
Meh, Lakers went with flash - for the all the great bigs they've had in their history it's the guards they love. I think the top 2 teams bought in a little too much to the "it's a completely different NBA" crap. If either FO thought Okafor wasn't the best scorer in the draft, both now and in the future, then their FOs were stupid and should be gutted.

Russell has got to be a top-end shooter and distributor in order to be a better player than Okafor. What a weird year for the top 2 teams to pass on probably the best big man prospect since Yao.

Exactly his the "best scorer", but his defense is horrible. His like a big man Carmelo. The main job of big men is to protect the rim and if he cant do that then i dont think his as good as you make him sound to be. Lets be honest, his not the best big man prospect since Yao, Howard and Anthony Davis are better than him OVERALL in terms of how they affect the game. Heck, if the twolves chose him over towns, that wouldve been their biggest mistake. Now, in terms of the Lakers, we can judge 2-3 yrs from now if they made a mistake.

BKLYNpigeon
07-18-2015, 08:52 PM
haha, nobody is like Magic Johnson.

Tony_Starks
07-18-2015, 09:05 PM
Sure isn't but he will be a superstar pg.....

flea
07-18-2015, 09:09 PM
Exactly his the "best scorer", but his defense is horrible. His like a big man Carmelo. The main job of big men is to protect the rim and if he cant do that then i dont think his as good as you make him sound to be. Lets be honest, his not the best big man prospect since Yao, Howard and Anthony Davis are better than him OVERALL in terms of how they affect the game. Heck, if the twolves chose him over towns, that wouldve been their biggest mistake. Now, in terms of the Lakers, we can judge 2-3 yrs from now if they made a mistake.

Did you even watch him? He improved markedly over the course of the season, a lot of the talking points on his defense were from early when Duke's defense was bad. Coach K put the team's best perimeter defender in the starting lineup down the stretch and it took off from there. From as bad as Duke's d was through like January (I think something worse than 50th by KenPom's rating), it was that much better down the stretch and ended up 12th nationally (8th among teams from real conferences). Oh yeah and his team kind of won the whole thing.

Now is he a defensive asset right now? No, but he's got great length, is very good on the glass, is a good athlete, and has a very high basketball IQ. My bet is that he'll be solid as a rim protector down the road, and his teams can scheme around his pick and roll deficiencies. DeMarcus Cousins was a worse defender in college, and he's turned into passable (even if his team understands that he needs to be paired with a better defender than he is). That could very well be true for Okafor, not everyone is Tim Duncan, but so what? He's a good enough passer and ball handler to make a twin towers look work.

As for Howard and Davis, lol yeah right. Howard was a high school freak athlete with crappy hands, and Davis was a beanpole shotblocker who didn't show very much on offense. They were good prospects of course but not on the level of Okafor. Everyone knows Okafor can anchor an NBA offense from day 1, he's the best offensive prospect since Carmelo (and probably even better because of how skilled he is).

McAllen Tx
07-18-2015, 09:33 PM
Scott really went out on a limb on that one. Russell will not be a top 3 PG of all time

jerellh528
07-18-2015, 10:30 PM
He's a below average athlete for his position , regardless of how smooth his shot is (hasn't shown 3 point NBA range) or how good his passing is, he'll have a very hard time staying in front of the freak athletes the NBA has at the PG position right now

Well to be fair, there's not many guys in the NBA who can stay in front of your westys of the NBA, Regardless of athleticism. I think he will be okay on defense, in fact, that's the thing that probably impressed me most in sl. Of course he was going against scrubs, but he has some tools to help him succeed, his understanding of angles and his length will help a lot. I thought his on ball defense from what I've seen, albeit not much of a sample size, shows he has defensive potential. He will be fine...tighten up his handles, and work on the NBA 3 pt range and he will be a good player.

ManningToTyree
07-18-2015, 10:43 PM
He and every other point guard. There's only one magic

kobe4thewinbang
07-19-2015, 12:10 AM
We talkin' 'bout summer league? Give the kid a season first, jeez. Could be the next Jason Kidd.

jerellh528
07-19-2015, 01:00 AM
I think too many people are worried about labeling players as "the next xplayer". Let's just let these guys be the first Russell, towns, okafor, etc.

magic0320
07-19-2015, 09:32 AM
results like bringing championships will only earn respect scott has toward magic. scott don't have to believe in him right now and he can change his mind after 5 years. it's up to russell if he wants to be great with time.

magic0320
07-19-2015, 09:39 AM
as laker fan so sick of this guys is next that guy. I will take kobe over jordan. I know jordan is known as goat, but I didn't go through good times and hard times as bulls fan with jordan. I been through all the hard times with kobe as laker fan, and I trust kobe he will get the championships in any era. I don't care kobe is less of jordan like most people try to compare those two, and I will always take kobe over everyone in history.

I am excited to see how russell turns out, if he is bust so be it but stop this magic bull **** with russell.

Bruno
07-20-2015, 09:14 PM
Meh, Lakers went with flash - for the all the great bigs they've had in their history it's the guards they love. I think the top 2 teams bought in a little too much to the "it's a completely different NBA" crap. If either FO thought Okafor wasn't the best scorer in the draft, both now and in the future, then their FOs were stupid and should be gutted.
you're right, I love that myth. the idea that that Lakers have a renowned history of building around star big men. Shaq, Wilt and Kareem were all traded to the Lakers mid career. West, Magic and Kobe are the Lakers legends who never played a game in another jersey. You have to go back to Mikan to find a MVP caliber C drafted by 'the Lakers'. I have hope that Russell becomes a really good player eventually, but of course there will be second thoughts looking at how good Okafor is. with all this being said, it's summer league.


Russell has got to be a top-end shooter and distributor in order to be a better player than Okafor. What a weird year for the top 2 teams to pass on probably the best big man prospect since Yao. I think Townes looked very good too. but, weird none the less.


He is gonna be great. his first step is pretty much the same as brandon roy, and he wasnt the most quickest player. alot of fans are panicking after how okafor has played in the sl. other players as beasley and promising players have done good, but been crap later on.
Maybe the emphasis shouldn't be the speed of his 'first step', making it a matter of athletics. I noticed something else. his handle is average at best, he can't split double teams. he's 19, hell get there.


He's a below average athlete for his position , regardless of how smooth his shot is (hasn't shown 3 point NBA range) or how good his passing is, he'll have a very hard time staying in front of the freak athletes the NBA has at the PG position right nowin defense of Russell, those guys can't even guard each other. and Roy should help keep the team numbers about middle pack, slightly later at worst.


Idk, he reminds me of Brandon Roy, or like a shorter Jalen Rose.


I think he will be a very good player.
i really like the Roy comparison. what sucks is that he can't just be very good. he needs to be better than Okafor (for the fans to not talk smack).

Bruno
07-20-2015, 09:16 PM
the negatives are known and will be worked on. But at 6'3+ barefoot, excellent shooting mechanics and excellent passing vision, theres a lot to like.

tredigs
07-21-2015, 01:02 AM
No Praise 'd'Angelo Russell will put the world on notice during summer league'Jesus making an appearance in this thread? Shocker.

Sactown
07-21-2015, 01:38 AM
the negatives are known and will be worked on. But at 6'3+ barefoot, excellent shooting mechanics and excellent passing vision, theres a lot to like.

Offensively there's a lot to like, hopefully for LA he is able to find ways to attack the basket and draw defenders in, without a quick first step he'll need a good shot to keep defenders close

The biggest area is definitely defense and how he matches up with opposing guards

CityofChaos
07-21-2015, 04:16 AM
Anthony Randolph scored 42 points in the summer league and where is he now? Somewhere in Russia trying to make a name for himself. Anthony Morrow scored 47 breaking the record at the time but has bounced around the league as bench player. Both of these dudes essentially outshined Stephen Curry during his summer league rookie season yet he turned out to be far from who we saw earlier on--turnover prone and mediocore playmaking ability.

Point is summer league isn't a 'great' indicator as to how good a player will be. If Russell works hard and learns from his bad summer performance then he should be fine.