first_imgD’Angelo Russell impressed Byron Scott in his pre-draft workout to spark comparisons to Magic Johnson and Chris Paul.But Scott remains undecided if Russell will start at point guard for the Lakers’ season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at Staples Center. Scott described Russell’s last three practices as “pretty good.” Scott also praised Russell for “playing with more energy and was much more aggressive” after telling him to focus more on defense. So why the indecision?“It’s based on his development,” Scott said. “We have to figure out what’s best for him right now. What’s best for him is what’s best of the team as well.” Bryant waxed nostalgic about facing Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, who enters his 21st NBA season.“It brings a smile to my face,” said Bryant, who played against Garnett in the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals. “I remember about making my decision (to skip college) and speaking on the phone with him about going through his first season.”Bryant also sounded sentimental about former Minnesota executive and coach Flip Saunders recently dying of cancer. “He and I would have a lot of conversations on the sideline. He was extremely animated,” Bryant said of Saunders, who coached him in the 2004 NBA All-Star Game. He’s very passionate about the game and always in good spirits. It was a shock to me. He will be sorely missed.” New investmentBryant partnered with a venture capital firm to close a $15 million investment in The Players’ Tribune. Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter founded the company, which allows athletes to provide first-person essays. Bryant called the move “a smart investment” before offering a joke.“If they were doing a vote on the top players in the league, I probably wouldn’t be 93,” Bryant said, referring to ESPN’s player ranking on the Lakers’ star. “They have a higher level of expertise.” Staying afloatThe Lakers will have a float in the 127th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. The float will feature a replica of the NBA championship trophy, a large basketball and 16 stars representing the championships the Lakers won. The Lakers will also feature Bryant’s jersey and their nine retired jerseys, including Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy and Jerry West. Injury updateAfter missing Monday’s practice because of soreness in his right hamstring, guard Marcelo Huertas practiced on Tuesday without any restrictions. Scott said he expects Huertas will play in the season opener. Kobe Bryant deferred questions about Russell’s role to Scott. But Bryant did not sound concerned about Russell despite the rookie averaging 6.9 points on only 39.6-percent shooting in eight exhibition games.“He’s been out here shooting for 45 minutes,” Bryant said. “If he continues to stay that course, he will be just fine. My responsibility is to show him the intricacies of the game.” Yet, Bryant conceded his uncertainty whether the Lakers make the playoffs partly because of the team’s young roster. “It all depends on the learning curve,” Bryant said. “Once you get out there and start playing and you have to travel and get on the road and work through the nuances of the schedule, that’s when you really learn.”Memory lanecenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img