Apr 7, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (2) talks with head coach Byron Scott during the game against the Orlando Magic at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports
The Cleveland Cavaliers made it official one day after the regular season ended that Byron Scott would no longer be head coach of the ball club. One day after losing the finale to the Charlotte Bobcats, the team announced on Thursday that after going 64-166 in three seasons that they would not be keeping Scott around. After extending his contract for the 2013-14 season last summer, Cleveland made it clear that they are still looking for a defensive prowess who will be able to bring an aggressive mindset to the court by getting back to the fundamentals.
Here are how the three seasons worked out for Scott:
2011-12: 21-45 (lockout-shortened season)
Scott was the coach of two of the worst defensive collapses in franchise history, blowing 28- and 27-point leads to the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat respectively in the 2012-13 campaign.
GM Chris Grant and owner Dan Gilbert spoke out early Thursday morning, expressing the rationale behind the decision and wishing Byron the best of luck in the future.
I have tremendous respect for Byron professionally and a great deal of admiration for him personally. It is critical for where we are as a team to ensure that we capitalize on every opportunity for development and success and we have fallen short of that on the court.
As expressed earlier, Gilbert has pointed to the team’s failings on Twitter and in person as being on the defensive side of the ball. He stated on Thursday that the team would not return to NBA supremacy unless they returned to being a defense-first squad. Former head coach Mike Brown, who held the position before Scott, had somewhat of the mindset that Gilbert is looking for. Brown’s teams were very effective on the glass, which led to very few second-chance opportunities for the opponents. Having Anderson Varejao back will help in that department, but he expressed disappointment in not being able to be on the court for Scott.
Scott inherited a lot of unfortunate injuries throughout his time with Cleveland. Three of his stars — Varejao (149) , Kyrie Irving (38) and Dion Waiters (21) — missed a total of 208 games in his three-year tenure.
Here’s what Scott had to say on his time spent in Cleveland as head coach:
I want to thank Chris Grant, Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers organization for the opportunity I had to coach the team the last three seasons.
Check back on Right Down Euclid for posts regarding possible candidates for the job. Grant said the search will begin immediately, which is a good sign that Cleveland has had a list of candidates in mind for some time.
Topics:Byron Scott, Chris Grant, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert
About the Author
I am a student at Ohio University currently studying journalism at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Growing up in the Cleveland area helped me ignite my relationship with sports, as I became an avid fan of basketball, football and baseball. I especially love basketball because I believe basketball players are some of the most robust athletes in the world.