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Credibility helps Scott

By wire services
Published May 28, 2004

NEW ORLEANS - Byron Scott will be the next coach of the Hornets.

Scott said Thursday on ESPN, where he works as an analyst, that he has accepted the job and can't wait to start in New Orleans.

"They were real interested in me, as I was in them, and I jumped on it," Scott said.

Hornets owner George Shinn was not available for comment, and a team spokesman also declined comment. Shinn had said Scott was among his top choices to replace Tim Floyd, who was fired May 7 after one season.

Scott, 44, coached the Nets to the league final the past two seasons, with losses to the Lakers and Spurs. He was 149-139 in 31/2 seasons before he was fired from the only coaching job he has held.

Scott would be the Hornets' third coach in the three seasons after the team moved from Charlotte. Next season the team moves into the tougher West Conference.

The Hornets fired Paul Silas, now with Cleveland, after a first-round elimination in 2003.

After that dismissal Shinn said he hoped to have a coach with proven playoff experience. But he gave a second chance to Floyd, who had struggled with rebuilding the Bulls in his first job. The Hornets got off to a strong start this season but finished 41-41. New Orleans again failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs, losing to Miami in seven games.

The Hornets were looking for a coach who would have instant credibility with their veterans, particularly guard Baron Davis, who at times was seen waving off Floyd's play calls.

Davis said that as a child he was a fan of Scott, who won three titles as a player with the Lakers.

Scott may also have to deal with former All-Star Jamal Mashburn, who played only 19 games last season because of a knee problem and said the Hornets mishandled his injury.

CELTICS: Coach Doc Rivers hired Tony Brown and Dave Wohl as assistants. Wohl was on Rivers' coaching staff in Orlando, and Brown has been an assistant in Toronto and Detroit.

CLIPPERS: Forward Elton Brand had surgery on his left knee and right ring finger. The team said the surgeries were done Wednesday, and doctors described them as minor and routine.

LAKERS: Kobe Bryant returned to Los Angeles from his court date in plenty of time for Game 4 of the West final. Bryant walked into the locker room more than an hour before tipoff and less than three hours after he left the courthouse in Eagle, Colo., where he attended a hearing about his upcoming sexual-assault trial. For the fifth time this season Bryant went to court during the day and flew by private jet to Los Angeles for a game.

PACERS: Reggie Miller was fined $5,000 by the league for kicking the ball into the stands after the loss to Detroit in Game 3 of the East final. It was the second time the Pacers have been fined in the series: Ron Artest was fined $10,000 on Tuesday for making an obscene gesture in Game 2.

TIMBERWOLVES: Sam Cassell was a last-minute scratch from the starting lineup before Game 4 of the West final. Cassell has been bothered by back spasms and a hip injury in the playoffs.

CONNECTICUT 82, L.A. 73: Katie Douglas scored 25 and Nykesha Sales added 19 as the host Sun got its first win this season. It was Douglas' second 20-plus game, and she hit four of her seven 3-pointers.

[Last modified May 28, 2004, 01:00:27]


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