Kobe on Byron Scott: “This is Killing Him”

Kobe Bryant is a five-time NBA champion who described himself as “pissed” with regard to how the 2010-11 version of his team has played as of late.  But even a recent skid won’t stop one of the game’s best players from discussing his feelings for Cavalier coach Byron Scott, whose skid is considerably worse than the one out in Los Angeles.

“Byron was my mentor when I came into the league,” said Bryant following Wednesday afternoon’s shootaround. “I have a special affinity toward him.”

The two men – separated by more than 16 years of age – were on the same roster during Bryant’s first year in the league; Scott was in his 13th and ultimately last year in the league after stints with both the Indiana Pacers and Vancouver Grizzlies.  The two players averaged close to seven points per game, a mark Bryant would double during his sophomore campaign. 

Scott’s first season with the Cavaliers is well-documented, having taken over a team in considerable turmoil and subsequently rattling off an NBA-record 26 straight losses between December 19th and February 11th.  There have been many discussions about his job security and if his methods resonate well with players, but Bryant assured anyone who would listen that this season (with the Cavs sitting at 9-46 on the year) is undeniably burning Scott inside.

“He’s competitive as hell,” said Bryant of Scott. “This is killing him.”

The 13-time All-Star gladly deflected any discussion about the Lakers’ recent loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. With his team is in the midst of a pair of games that has seen the defending NBA champions be outscored by a combined 34 points, escaping the national focus of a potential Hollywood Apocalypse was greeted with open arms.

Once the discussion changed from the past events to those that exist immediately ahead, Bryant opened up about the upcoming game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.  When these two teams met mid-January, the Lakers handed the Cavs what was easily their worst loss of the season as “the diff” was -55 when it was all said and done.

Bryant, however, was kind enough to give the Wine and Gold the benefit of the doubt as the team that played on January 11 was forced to give undrafted rookie Manny Harris 41 minutes of play due to an injured backcourt that was without Anthony Parker and Daniel Gibson.

“They have guys back that are healthy now,” Bryant told the media on Wednesday afternoon. “When we played them [in January], they were missing their core.  Now they have Parker back, Gibson, Mo Williams, these guys are good players so tonight should be different.”

By “different,” Bryant means that he expects the Cavaliers to shoot considerably better than 29 percent from the floor and not turning the ball over 19 times compared to only 12 assists.  Whether or not the difference is large enough to result in a Cavaliers win remains to be seen.

  • The Conductor

    Newsflash! It isn’t killing him.

    He hasn’t stood up from the bench since the end of December. He just sits there with the same glazed look in his eyes as an Alzheimer patient cutting a fart at Tuesday Turkey dinner.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    “He hasn’t stood up from the bench since the end of December.”

    Have you been to a game? He stands nearly the entire time.

  • judy.o

    The Lakers are pissed.The Cavs cant play defense.We all hope the 7ftr who plays for our team doesnt step on the court at any moment tonight.Yea,this game will not be very different.No cavs fan is deluded enough to think we might have a chance.Quite frankly am surprised the line isnt 20 for this game.However i do hope the cavs can play half a decent game.If we loose by 15-20, and score 90pts,thats a win.Anything but a massacre and complete embarrassment is welcome.

  • The Conductor

    While compiling a 9 and 46 record and muddling through the longest losing streak in the 41 year history of the Cavaliers, Byron Scott has (so far) called 42% less timeouts than Mike Brown did in 2010. That averages to 2.52 less timeouts per game.

    In other words, he just sits there. Or if you say he’s actually standing, then he’s watching the concessions guy.

  • http://ato.com jermaine

    Love Byron – get off his back

  • forrealmccoy

    to conductor…what do you expect a coach to do with a team that lost #6, Z, Shaq, Mr. Gloria West, Andy (injury), and mo gotti (significant time to injury) to name a few. People in C-town need to realize that they blew this thing up as soon as #6 took his talents elsewhere. They just didn’t come out and announce it (like the Indians). If red Auerbach was coaching this team they maybe have 12 wins. Are you one of the fans who thought the Cvs had a shot at making the playoffs this year? my guess is yes

  • Nate_3

    Do you want Byron to call a bunch of timeouts when we are down by 15 or 20 in the 4th quarter just so Cavs fans have to sit through the torture longer? Of course Mike Brown called more timeouts b/c that team was involved in closer games and we all know basketball games come to a stand still in the last minute with multiple timeouts. Also, Mike Brown probably needed to call a lot of timeouts so he could get advice on how to run an offense.

  • Harv 21

    Apropos of this February thaw, lets remember even as we endure the Cavs’ slo-mo implosion, the Browns’ annual five wins and the Dolan Death Spiral that if the ownership is solid things will brighten soon.

    We’re hitting bottom and about to cycle back up, really, even if takes a few years. OK, not the Tribe. So chin up, laddies.

  • The Conductor


    No, I don’t want him to call timeouts. If you read above, I was just supporting my opinion that losing isn’t “killing” Byron Scott.

    He’s, in fact, very unengaged. (for many of the reasons you pointed out.)

  • Eddie

    Don’t blame this mess of a season all on Scott! This tailspin the Cavs are in can be corrected by Scott that’s for sure. Scott, the players and the owner all share in this mess. Most of the blame falls on Gilbert, the players have all but given up this season. This is where Scott can pull them out of the tailspin, by addressing the problem man to man, coach to team.

  • Shamrock

    The Cavaliers suck conductor they don’t have any significant talent it’s not Byron Scott’s fault. I like Scott and he bears some responsibility but it’s minor. Blame Danielle Ferry and maybe Chris Grant (if he doesn’t make any moves). Even still I’d rather have Scott then Mike Brown. Brown was overrated in my opinion. All he did was ride #23 but then again so did the Cavaliers and city of Cleveland.

  • Harrison

    Is Kobe tanking this game for Byron?

  • jimkanicki

    good for byron scott tonite.

    and the NEO support for the cavs this year is incredible. great testament to NEO sports fans. none better.