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NBA FINALS | SPOTLIGHT

Friends Forever, but Not This Week

June 06, 2002|Jerry Crowe

Laker executive Magic Johnson and Net Coach Byron Scott are former Laker teammates, but their friendship is on hold, Johnson said.

"I told him, 'I love you up until Wednesday, then I can't speak to you for two weeks,' " Johnson said before Game 1. " 'You know I'm going to be mad at you for two weeks. I'm going to be pacing, I'm going to be going crazy. But I can't say hi to you for two weeks.' He said, 'I know, Buck, I know, Buck.'

"I wish him well against everybody else but us."

Said Scott: "He's one of the best players, one of the best winners, one of the most competitive guys I've ever been around, and not just on the basketball court. We used to play softball in the summers. We used to play cards together."

When they ran into each other before the game, however, Johnson and Scott couldn't help themselves. Johnson had earlier been introduced as one of the newest members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, and Scott had to say something.

"I had a chance to see Earvin today," Scott said. "I congratulated him. I gave him a big hug."

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