The Los Angeles Lakers introduced new head coach Byron Scott on Tuesday, and there was plenty of optimism and hope in the air. Scott talked of re-establishing a tradition of defensive play in LA, and changing the losing mindset that has prevailed the last two seasons. To hear Byron tell it, the Lakers should be back on top in short order. Per the AP:

The Lakers are coming off their worst season in Los Angeles, and their hodgepodge roster is built around soon-to-be 36-year-old Kobe Bryant, who is coming off major injuries as the NBA’s highest-paid player. Title contention seems distant to most pragmatic folks, particularly in the tough Western Conference.

 

“I don’t see this as a long process,” Scott said. “This is Los Angeles. It’s still one of the best organizations in all of sports. Still got a ton of people that would love to play for this organization, and you’ve got (former Lakers) sitting in the front row that are very adamant about that. They’re all advocates for this organization, so I don’t think it’s going to take long.”

 

According to Magic (Johnson), late Lakers owner Jerry Buss wanted to hire Scott in 2010 when Phil Jackson was waffling on a return for a potential three-peat. Jackson stayed, and Scott took over the Cavaliers eight days before LeBron James left for Miami, consigning him to three losing seasons in Ohio while the Lakers job became a revolving door.