Cavs coach Byron Scott wants team to run, players to stay

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New Cavaliers coach Byron Scott was introduced at a press conference on Friday, and appealed to LeBron James’ desire to run on the court and stay in his hometown off of it.

With his size, end-to-end speed, ability to change directions, and court vision, James is arguably the best open-court player in the league. One criticism of former Cavalier head coach Mike Brown was that he had LeBron and the Cavaliers play a grind-it-out style that emphasized defense and ball control instead of placing an emphasis on getting James and his teammates out into the open floor.

Scott, who spent much of his playing career as Magic Johnson’s backcourt mate on the “showtime” Lakers, says that he wants to turn the Cavaliers into more of a running team:

“I can’t let go of my roots, I want to run (on offense). We’ll still run some Princeton but emphasis is to get up & down floor.”

That may be what LeBron wants to hear, but recent history doesn’t back Scott’s claim up; in Scott’s last two full seasons as Hornets coach, New Orleans finished 26th and 28th in “pace factor,” despite the fact he had Chris Paul as a point guard.

When asked about LeBron James, Scott said that he had spoken to people “close to” LeBron, but not James himself. Regarding James’ free agency status, Scott said that he won three championships in his hometown, and that there’s “not a better feeling.”

The two other major pieces of news from Scott’s press conference were that there is NOT an opt-out clause in Scott’s contract if the Laker job becomes open, and that Paul Pressey will be Scott’s lead assistant. 

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.