Scott enjoys ribbing players at open practice

Sunday, January 20, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

The team held an open practice for Hornets season ticket holders at the New Orleans Arena from 11 a.m. to 12:30 today. A few of the lighter moments from the gathering:

Byron Scott introduced each of the 13 Hornets players who were present (Melvin Ely was ill and missed the event) and - as usual - didn't miss his chance to make light-hearted fun of several guys.

* Scott reminded fans that if they see Adam Haluska walking around New Orleans without a baby stroller - part of he and Julian Wright's rookie initiation - the fans should immediately report Haluska to Bobby Jackson. It was Jackson's idea to have Haluska and Wright push around the strollers after the rookies were negligent a couple times in bringing donuts to practices.

* Jackson didn't escape Scott's ribbing, either. When Scott started to introduce the 34-year-old, Scott said "this guy is the oldest player on the team..." and a few fans immediately yelled out "Bobby Jackson!" Scott looked over at Jackson and said "See, they do know (that Jackson is old)."

* On Tyson Chandler, Scott thought back to the summer 2006 trade with Chicago. "People said we were crazy to trade for him," Scott remembered. "They said, 'You should never trade a young talent like J.R. Smith.' "But what they forgot," Scott continued, "was that Tyson was only 23 himself at the time."

* On David West, Scott said: "If he doesn't make the All-Star team, something's wrong." He then introduced Chris Paul, joking: "If he doesn't make the All-Star team, I'm quitting."

* Scott also fielded questions from season ticket holders. The fourth-year coach listed the most difficult part of coaching ("finding playing time for everyone") and what he likes best about coaching ("winning"). One fan asked if the Hornets are going to the championship this season.

Scott's response: "Our goal was to make the playoffs. Right now we've got as good a chance as any of the other teams in the Western Conference (of getting to the NBA Finals)."

* Incidentally, Hornets players had a chance to win prizes for fans by sinking a shot from halfcourt at the end of practice. Scott also shot and came close on his first attempt, before making his second try. He showed off the shooter's touch that made him a big part of the 1980s championship Lakers when his heave softly bounced off the front rim, then dropped through the basket.