The Cleveland Cavaliers have released Head Coach Byron Scott, 52, the team announced today. The Cavaliers’ record during Scott’s tenure was 64-166, including a 24-58 mark this season.
“I have tremendous respect for Byron professionally and a great deal of admiration for him personally. At the same time, 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,” said General Manager Chris Grant. “I believe we needed to make this change in order to get to a better position to achieve our goals. I know I speak on behalf of the entire Cavs organization and the Cleveland community, in thanking Byron for his three years here and his hard work and many contributions on and off the court. We wish Byron and his wife, Anita, the best.”
For the classy Scott, the firing was questionable to say the least, especially considering the circumstances of his hire.
Scott accepted the job just prior to LeBron James' Miami departure, leaving the roster instantly depleted once "The Decision" was made.
Essentially, Scott, who at the time was being tabbed as a potential future replacement for the Lakers' Phil Jackson, made a leap of faith with Cleveland that other candidates might not have made.
For his gamble, Scott was rewarded with a young, lottery-bound roster not capable of competing with the NBA's best.
Despite the Cavs youth, many of their players nevertheless did show growth under Scott, particularly emerging star Kyrie Irving and rookie guard Dion Waiters.
“I want to thank Chris Grant, Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers organization for the opportunity I had to coach this team the last three seasons,” said Scott. “Anita and I have enjoyed our time here in Cleveland and greatly appreciate the support we received from this special community and the many friendships we developed. I am certainly proud of the progress that many of our players have made and greatly appreciate the dedication of my coaches and our team in our efforts to attain the success we all desired.”
Grant will immediately commence a search for the team’s next head coach. As for Scott, he at least will get behind Phil Jackson on the wish list of Laker fans who are hoping to have coach Mike D'Antoni replaced.
"I wish Byron Scott and his entire family the best going forward. Byron is a class guy, both on and off the court, and I thank him for his three years of coaching the Cavaliers,” said Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert. “I fully support the difficult move that was made today. Although we saw progress with young individual player development, we did not see the kind of progress we expected on the team level this past season. We understand it was challenging with the injuries, but when you are at our stage in the building process, you don't only measure team progress in wins and losses."
"It has been our strong and stated belief that when our team once again returns to competing at the NBA's highest levels it will be because we have achieved our goals on the defensive side of the court," Gilbert concluded.
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services