Thursday, December 11, 2008

Byron Scott: Trading Mike James was "a great move."

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 1:17 AM

click to enlarge Coaches laughing

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Photo by Jonathan Bachman

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Coach Byron Scott had his usual pre-game conference with reporters today and, not surprisingly, the conversation centered on the Mike James trade. It was a pretty candid talk and Scott revealed the main reason the trade went down: James had asked for it. It turns out that James wasn't willing to accept a role backing up Chris Paul and wanted to be more of a scorer. According to Scott, James told him "sitting on the bench is for the birds."

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Scott revealed that all of this was discussed in a meeting he had with James just five days ago. Scott added that he was surprised how quickly Hornets GM Jeff Bower was able to find a player like Antonio Daniels (a proven veteran who has played in, and has no problem running, Scott's system) so quickly. In the business of basketball, this was as painless a divorce as you could see, with both sides seemingly happy with the outcome.

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Here's a full list of quotes on the subject for your perousal:

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On the trade in general:

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Great move. We got another guy in heere that's a veteran guy that's been in our system that can be great in the locker room and i think he can help us.  Antonio's been playing well that last few years and I don't see any reason why he can't come here and help us.

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On what the need was for the trade:

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I think just more of a guy that can run the offense and be a true point guard and I think that's what Antonio is. Mike is more of a scorer. Even in practice, guys weren't real happy with the way he ran the offense, basically.  We bring in [Antonio] who will do just that: he'll run the offense. He'll get those guys the ball and he has the capability of knocking down some open shots and getting to the basket as well. And he's a great free-throw shooter as well.

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On Daniels being able to transition into the Hornets system:

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I think his transition will be very moderate because he does know what we do. The terminiology might be different but the actions are a lot alike. I don't think that it will take him that long to adjust to what we do.

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On whether the Hornets needed to make the move:

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We didn't feel we needed to make the move, but Mike wasn't happy. He wasn't happy with his role, with a role he didn't want to accept. So we felt like, 'Ok let's see how we can make a move to upgrade at that position and maybe help him out as well.'

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On the conversation he had with James:

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We had a talk, a conversation, he said, 'You know, the bench is for the birds.' He said he had some good years left in him. I don't think he felt he got a fair shot at that position, which I think he had more than a fair shot at it, to win that back-up role. So we didn't agree on that. He loved the guys but he felt that he needed to be traded so I said, 'Sounds good to me. I'll talk to Jeff and we'll get it done.'

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On whether James wanted to play shooting guard:

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He was playing that anyway, while he was playing point.

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