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Chat transcript: May 31
Net Gains

The 2000-01 NBA season marked Byron Scott's first as Head Coach for the New Jersey Nets. In his head-coaching debut, the team finished with a 26-56 record and currently holds the No. 7 pick in this year's upcoming NBA Draft. Hampered by injuries all season long, the potential success of a team that featured Stephon Marbury, No. 1 Draft pick Kenyon Martin, Keith Van Horn and Kerry Kittles was never able to materialize.

Dedicated to improving on last season's record, Scott, a three-time World Champion with the L.A. Lakers as a player, is keeping busy over the summer months preparing for next season. The head coach and his staff are currently looking at potential draft prospects before they head to Chicago next week for the pre-draft camp.

Scott chatted live on May 31.
Dawg from wyeth.com at 3:10pm ET
What player in this draft has caught your eye so far, and which players in free agency are you targeting?

Byron Scott at 3:10pm ET
The players in the draft that have caught my eye are Jason Richardson, Tyson Chandler, Kwame Brown and I also like Shane Battier.
Dewey from [12.18.6.133] at 3:10pm ET
What was the highlight of your first season with the Nets?

Byron Scott at 3:12pm ET
I think the highlight was watching Kenyon Martin develop and seeing how good he became. We were disappointed in how it ended, but it was great to see someone who we thought might be a good player in this league blossom into someone who we know is going to be a great player in this league.
ADAM W from west.saic.com at 3:12pm ET
Coach Scott, how strong is the possibility that Kerry Kittles can resume his career and be a productive player in the NBA? Do you anticipate that Kendall Gill will be asked to return next season?

Byron Scott at 3:12pm ET
We'll have a much better idea on Kerry Kittles in July when he plays in the summer league in Boston. As far as Kendall goes, he's a free agent, so I'm not sure if we will have him back or not.
Jimmy from libart.calpoly.edu at 3:13pm ET
How do you compare the the Lakers of the Showtime Era with the present Laker team?


Byron Scott at 3:14pm ET
No comparison. I think our team was much better because we had so many more weapons. This team now is a great team and what they have done recently is a great accomplishment. I think our team that won back-to-back's is one of the best to ever play the game.
netsfan from proxy.aol.com at 3:14pm ET
Would the Nets welcome the return of Jayson Williams, because of his contract? Will his possible return be taken into consideration on draft day? Thanks.

Byron Scott at 3:15pm ET
We haven't talked to Jayson Williams about a return. We hear there is almost no way possible with his knee and his leg. If he can come back to the level of basketball that he was playing before, then we would welcome him. I don't think that is possible.
Matt Amitrano from proxy.aol.com at 3:15pm ET
Coach Scott, how do you feel the new zone defense rule will affect the your ball club?

Byron Scott at 3:16pm ET
Hopefully it will get us to run more, so we don't allow teams to set up into a zone. We have to be a better outside shooting team and have to look at players that can shoot from the outside. That's the department we need to look at.
Josh W from z208037156.nyc-ny.dsl.cnc.net at 3:16pm ET
I'm a very big Net fan and like how you coach. My question is, how was it like playing with the Lakers and how has that experience affected your coaching?

Byron Scott at 3:17pm ET
That experience has been a positive on me. When you are in a situation that prepares you for a championship every year, it prepares you for every situation on the basketball court, except losing. Now I realize how tough it is in this league to be successful. It helps me in how I prepare my team now to be successful.
Paul Fontana from proxy.aol.com at 3:17pm ET
Do you think it would be a good move to trade Keith Van Horn? Do you think that you would be able to salvage any chemistry the team had with Keith Van Horn?

Byron Scott at 3:18pm ET
I think it's a good move if you get what you want in return. Keith is a very young talented player and is still in our plans for next year. We won't do it just to do it. Keith, Stephon and Kenyon are three that we can build around. If the right deal comes along, we would have to consider it.
Pat from z208037020.sjc-ca.dsl.cnc.net at 3:19pm ET
Coach Scott, what will the team do this offseason in terms of conditioning to try and avoid all the injuries that seem to occur each year? Are there any specific programs that can be used to reduce that problem, perhaps involving diet and exercise?

Byron Scott at 3:19pm ET
What we do every season is give our guys a handbook on strength and conditioning. We want them to come to camp in shape, not come to get in shape. They should be prepared for camp when they get there.
Matt Amitrano from proxy.aol.com at 3:19pm ET
Coach Scott, what will you, from a coaching standpoint, do different this coming season compared to last season?

Byron Scott at 3:21pm ET
I think I will be a little more lenient towards my guys. I want them to understand that we are all in this together. Not too much differently in terms of game preperation, conditioning and practice, but maybe in other areas. I want to build our guys up as much as possible. It's my job to have them physically and mentally ready.
Adam from [63.126.225.100] at 3:21pm ET
Greetings Byron! We love having you here with the Nets and hope your chapter will turn into a positive one. How long do you expect it will take the Nets to get back to the playoffs? What will it take for us to get there?

Byron Scott at 3:22pm ET
Adam, when I took the job I knew it would take two to three years for things to fall into place. In the meantime we are going to plant some seeds, throw water on it and watch it grow. To be honest, I look at our team and look at the East and with one or two adjustments we can get there next year. I'm real optimistic about that.
Carl Restivo from nnj.adsl.bellatlantic.net at 3:22pm ET
What kind of music do you like and do you go out to see any concerts?

Byron Scott at 3:23pm ET
I haven't seen one in a while. I'm a lover of all kind of music but mostly R&B. Luther Vandross, Anita Baker and a lot of jazz with Kenny G, David Sanborn and George Howard. Not much rap, except with my two teenage kids.
Pete D from [209.191.170.252] at 3:23pm ET
What would you offer for Chris Webber to come to the Nets? Does the salary arithmetic even come close for the deal to work?

Byron Scott at 3:24pm ET
We'd offer near anything. He's an MVP candidate, a franchise player. But the salary cap and the way it is structured is tough. He understands and respects me and he would strenghten our chances. I'm not sure if we have the resources. (Coach Scott was an assistant coach with the Kings two seasons ago).

Sean from proxy.aol.com at 3:24pm ET
Hi Byron, Kenyon's game was really picking up before he broke his leg. How is his recovery going and what do you expect from him next year?

Byron Scott at 3:25pm ET
His recovery is there. The leg is fine and he's back to working out. I expect a big season from him and so does he. I think he can be a very big impact player on the team.
david from dhcp2.washington.edu at 3:26pm ET
Any plans to give Stephon fewer minutes next season? He is wonderful, but he needs his rest. thanks.

Byron Scott at 3:27pm ET
I played Steph exactly the minutes I wanted to, but maybe 37 a game is too much. I'll go back and reevaluate it and see if 35 is the max that he should play and still be effective without getting hurt.

Byron Scott at 3:27pm ET
Thanks to all the Nets fans for chatting with me. Continue to support us and be patient, we will put a product out there that you can be proud of.

 
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