Byron Scott calls Kyrie Irving more mature & offensively developed than D’Angelo Russell during rookie season

first_img“Effing up on a lot of things and (Byron) being there to protect me every single time,” Irving recalled. “I’m learning and being given the keys to the organization and accepting responsibility and knowing how to become a better professional. Knowing all the things he was teaching me are things I’m starting to understand.”Thus far, Russell ranks fourth in his class in points (12.1), third in assists (3.3) and fourth in minutes played (27). Russell has occasionally admitted he wished for a larger role after losing his starting spot 20 games into the season and sitting out late in games. But in recent weeks, Russell has softened his stance so much that he even argued he did not deserve a starting spot. Russell even partly credited Scott for his development. “He kind of doesn’t really put you on a leash,” Russell said of Scott. “He kind of lets you learn from your own mistakes. I talked to a few vet guys and they say that’s kind of the way where they didn’t have it that way. So it’s almost a good thing.”It appears likely to be a good thing that Bryant has both advised Irving and Russell. Though he gushed about Irving’s “killer mentality,” Bryant has talked about perfecting his pull-up jumper as well as figuring out the dynamic between himself, LeBron James and Kevin Love.“It’s how to do that where everybody kind of plays the way they normally play. You’ll have that friction and that conflict, but you have to trust through that out,” Bryant said. “It sounds strange, but you can’t try to make the pieces fit. In other words, you can’t compromise to make pieces fit. That probably goes against anything that you’ve ever heard. But the reason Shaq and I figured out how to make it work is because neither one of us had compromise and because of that, you had this incredible storm, and through that storm we were able to figure out how to make pieces fit.”Meanwhile Bryant described himself as Russell’s “big brother” before joking he is actually “his grandfather” given the 18-year age difference. “I just talk to him often about the game and the mentality and technique and execution,” Bryant said, “as well as some of the psychological things that he’s going through and how to navigate through those.”One of those things entails staying patient for his starting spot. Scott only offered a “maybe” on if Russell would start after the NBA All-Star break next Friday against San Antonio at Staples Center. “Some time after the All-Star break, I’ll put him back in the starting lineup,” Scott said. “There’s no timetable on when.”Revising historyThe story sounded confusing to Kobe Bryant. Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue recalled that Bryant wanted to fight him after he blocked his dunk at practice during the 1999-2000 season.“That may just be Lue mythology,” Bryant said. “I don’t remember. I bet that I kicked his (butt) in practice more than he’s blocked my shots.”Lue laughed at Bryant’s recollection.“You think he would say yes? You know Kobe,” Lue said. “When Brian Shaw hears about it, he’s probably going to talk about it next time he’s on TV.” The nostalgia swept over Lakers coach Byron Scott as he reflected on coaching Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving during his first two NBA seasons.“He was the most talented point guard I had,” Scott said. “He didn’t have any weaknesses offensively.”The realism hit Scott as he evaluated Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell with 30 games left in his rookie season. “He still has a whole lot to room to learn about this league and about playing that position,” Scott said. “But the thing I like about him is he’s willing to learn and willing to accept the criticism to try to get better.” In the Lakers’ 120-111 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena, Irving and Russell symbolized how Scott viewed them differently during their rookie seasons. Irving posted a team-high 35 points on 15-of-24 shooting and seven assists while Russell had 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting and three assists. “He was a little bit more business-like at practice and games,” Scott said of Irving. “D’Angelo still has a playfulness about him. Sometimes in practice he’s joking around and losing a little bit of focus.”The majority of Lakers practices are closed to the media. But Russell spends the tail-end of practice often working on his shot as well as various ball-handling and shooting drills with Lakers assistants Thomas Scott and Larry Lewis. Russell will do the same thing about 2 1/2 hours before each game. But Russell has often concluded his sessions by attempting half-court heaves or one-handed 3-pointers. “There’s always a time to be serious and there’s always a time to joke around,” Scott said. “So I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m saying he’s 19.”Irving won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in the 2011-12 season after leading his class in points (18.5), ranking second in assists (5.4) and finishing third in minutes played (30.5). Four years later, Irving looked back at that time with fondness. He called Scott a “leader.” Irving also credited how Scott developed him. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Top shot Tavares Finson thrills

first_img Sub Junior B Sub Junior A Darren Gordon (44) Shoot off win Rajhir DaCosta (44) Raheed DaCosta (43) Junior B Young marksman Roman Tavares-Finson was unstoppable with close-to-perfect shooting, setting the stage with a brilliant 49 of 50 birds, which saw him claim the High Overall Champion spot at the Digicel Inter-School Clay 50 Birds Championship on Sunday at the Jamaica Skeet Club in Portmore, St Catherine. The 13-year-old, who was claiming his first major title, missed just one target on his way to upstaging a very compact field. In the Super Six round, he hit a table-topping 64 birds. The Hillel Academy standout shooter scored 15 in the Super Six to lead his school to a winning score of 215, a seven point advantage over the American International School of Kingston (AISK), which shot 208, and Champion College 204 in third. Jamaica College finished fourth with 176 points. “I have won a couple times, but not as big as this one, I guess it was more of adrenaline happening. I am very happy with the win,” he told The Gleaner. Roman, the son of prominent lawyer and government senator, Tom Tavares-Finson, said the course was a challenging one. “If I thought about it in my head, I wouldn’t have done it, so I just maintained my momentum and concentrated,” he said. The competition saw more than 70 upcoming junior shooters give a good account of themselves, with Jamaica Skeet Club president Khaleel Azan giving them much credit. “I didn’t think we would have more than a high score of 45, Roman shot 49, and this gives me an idea of where we are and how we are really achieving a lot from year to year, and where we go and how we are to overseas standards,” Azan noted. “I think we are getting closer.” He also credited second overall runner-up, Danzel Knight, who bravely shot with a broken hand. Meanwhile, the category winners received $1,500 credit from main sponsor Digicel along with their other prizes. The Super Six top finishers were Roman Tavares-Finson (64), Zachary Chen (58), and third Danzel Knight (58). Jonah Subaran scored 56, followed by Zachary Lazarus and Mark Desnoes 55, respectively. Peter Mahfood hit 52 and Zachary Duncan was the next best with 51. Zack Lazarus (42) Shoot off Second Zachary Duncan (42) Shoot off Third Sebastian Levy (41) First Jordan Vaz (47) Thomas Gore (45) Richard Todd (43) Juniors A Girls C Abigail McMaster (41) shoot off win Christina ChangPong (41) Kimberly McNally (39) Nikolai Azan (41) John Chin (38) Amir Azan (38) Adam Fletcher (39) Dylan Williams (37) Jack Tickle (35) Girls A Isabelle Chin (39) Leah Azan (36) Savannah Miller (30) Girls B Savannah Miller (45) Anna Issa (38) Annabelle Chung (37)center_img Sub Junior C Junior C Sub Junior Roman Tavares-Finson (49) Jonah Subaran (42) Mark Desnoes (42) Sub Junior D Danzel Knight (45) Zachary Chen (42) Peter Mahfood (42) Jonathan Ralston (49) Matthew Holness (40) Alexander Desnoes (33) Sub Junior E Class Winnerslast_img read more