“They weren’t joking around,” Scott said before the Lakers’ 107-101 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at Staples Center. “I got a wake-up call real early that this was how it’s going to be. I better be ready for it.”Scott routinely absorbed elbows from former Lakers forward Michael Cooper. The Lakers assigned Scott to cover Johnson. Nearly all of Scott’s teammates ignored him.“The great thing is I was from here so I had a lot of support,” said Scott, who grew up in Inglewood and starred at Morningside High School. “But I would go home and think these dudes are crazy.”Those crazy dudes eventually became Scott’s friends after recalling he never backed down during practice. It also helped that Scott made the NBA’s All-Rookie first team in the 1983-84 season. Scott then became a part of the Lakers’ three NBA title runes in 1985, ’87 and ’88.“It was good because it obviously helped me grow,” Scott said. “It has gotten to the point where you formed everlasting relationships, too. After a while they respected who I was and what I could bring to the table.” Since then, Scott has adopted that demanding touch with coaching stints in New Jersey (2000-04), New Orleans (2004-09), Cleveland (2010-2013) and with the Lakers (2014-present).“I like pushing buttons,” Scott said. “I like messing with young guys. It’s fun. I like to see what they can do and how much they can take. I want to see if they will accept the challenge or not. I’ll do it in a playful way, but I’m still trying to find out what they’re made of.”Is the current generation of players sensitive to such criticism?“It would be like calling them soft. Yeah,” Scott said, chuckling. “Most of them are too sensitive.” Challenge accepted?One of those players apparently did not include Lakers rookie forward Anthony Brown. Scott approached Brown at morning shootaround on Tuesday and offered some playful albeit biting words about his mindset.“Scaredy cat or something like that,” Brown reported.Scott said that in hopes of sparking Brown’s offensive production. Despite starting in Kobe Bryant’s place on Tuesday against the Nets, Brown posted only two points on a 1-of-6 clip in 26 minutes. That marks even a slight drop from his season averages of 3.8 points on 31.5 percent shooting in 19.5 minutes through 26 contests.“I’d like him to be more aggressive and confident,” Scott said. “Defensively, he has a world of confidence he can guard most people he has to guard. I want that to translate on the other end as well.”Scott also observed Brown “is passing up shots or hesitating to take shots that are open for him.” Scott also admitted it may not help Brown only averages 4.2 shots per game amid limited playing time and playing with high volume shooters, such as Bryant, Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young. “That might have a little to do with it,” Scott said. “We don’t run a ton of plays for him. He doesn’t get as many opportunities as he probably would.”Brown admitted that factoring in, while focusing more on his five recent absences.“I haven’t been playing forever. So I’m finding my way,” Brown said. “It’s not the confidence. I’m trying to figure out where I fit within the grand scheme of things. I know if I’m open, I’m going to shoot the ball.”Still, Brown took no issue with Scott’s criticisms. Brown also accepted Scott’s challenge to have a shooting contest at some point on Friday, though he mused that Scott has often gotten two shot attempts while his player only receives one. “I’m not going to turn down a challenge,” Brown said. “The challenge is bringing something out of me and using that as a levee for that.”Being cautiousInstead of lighting up the crowd with a ferocious dunk, Larry Nance Jr. will only spark buzz during Wednesday’s game in Denver by signing autographs for a crowd that might feature plenty from his alma mater. The Lakers determined Nance will miss one part of their three remaining slates of back-to-back games to minimize soreness in his right knee. Nance played on Tuesday against Atlanta where he posted six points and five rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. He also threw down a two-handed dunk and one-handed dunk. But Nance will sit out on Wednesday in Denver despite University of Wyoming fans likely making the two-hour trek to see him. The Lakers also have a pair of back-to-back games against Memphis (March 22) and in Phoenix (March 23) as well as Washington (March 27) and in Utah (March 28). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES >> The Lakers’ embattled coach has held long practices unforgivingly. He has critiqued his young players openly both in person and through the media. Scott has not hesitated adjusting roles for D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle even if they represent the franchise’s long-term future.But there marked another time that Byron Scott seemed just as unpopular in Los Angeles. That moment also convinced Scott that his stern approach remains necessary a generation later.The Lakers acquired Scott from the former San Diego Clippers a few months after he was selected fourth overall in the 1983 NBA draft. But that deal entailed the Lakers trading Norm Nixon, who helped Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar win two of the Lakers’ first five NBA championships in the Showtime Era.That left Scott initially without any locker-room allies.