Since getting canned by the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer 2016, Byron Scott has kept a safe distance from the organization he both played and coached for. However, as the saying goes, time heals all wounds and the Showtime Lakers legend is back to rooting for the purple and gold with his good friend Magic Johnson at the helm.
Scott and Johnson spent eight years together in Los Angeles and won three titles playing alongside one other in 1985, 1987 and 1988. With three titles in a span of five years, one could say the Showtime Lakers were the NBA’s first-ever super team.
But in an interview on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Scott said there is a crucial difference between how the Lakers dominated in the 80s and what teams like the Golden State Warriors are doing now.
“I don’t criticize [super teams]. I didn’t criticize Kevin Durant when he went to Golden State. I personally wanted him to stay at OKC. I thought they had a great chance to beat the Golden State Warriors. Why would you want to join them instead of beat them? Back in our era, Magic Johnson wouldn’t join Larry Bird, he wouldn’t join Michael Jordan and vice versa. They wanted to beat each other.”
While it might be true that Bird, Jordan and Johnson never teamed up, they never really had any reason to. Combined, Bird, Jordan and Johnson ended their careers with 14 NBA titles, with Magic and Bird dominating the 1980s and Jordan owning the 1990s.
Durant spent nearly a decade with the Oklahoma City Thunder before deciding he had a better chance of winning his first championship ring in Oakland, with all signs to him adding a second championship ring to his long hands this summer. Does that water down his legacy as one of the all-time NBA greats compared to Bird, Jordan and Johnson, who won their championships with the teams that drafted them? Sure, but that was Durant’s decision to make, and so far it has paid off for him.