April 16, 2014

NBA News: Cavaliers part ways with head coach Byron Scott

The Cleveland Cavaliers have decided to part ways with head coach Byron Scott, per a report from the Akron Beacon-Journal.

“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 Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant on the matter. “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 Bryon and his wife, Anita, the best.”

Scott, 52, was named the 18th head coach in Cleveland Cavaliers history on July 1, 2010. The Cavaliers’ record during Scott’s tenure as Head Coach was 64-166.

“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.”

The Cavaliers will immediately commence a search, led by General Manager Chris Grant, for the team’s next head coach. Names that have been speculated about include Miami Heat assistant coach Tim Fizdale and former NBA head coaches Mike Brown and Stan Van Gundy. Brian Shaw, a candidate in 2010 when the team hired Scott, is reportedly also a potential candidate.

“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.

Our fans have been incredibly loyal and supportive during these transition years. They deserve better than we have been delivering as of late and it is our full intent to deliver them the kind of competitive team that they expect to see on the court beginning next season,” Gilbert concluded.

Scott, hired in the wake of The Decision in 2010, amassed a .278 winning percentage with the Cavaliers. He was brought on to spearhead a rebuilding process that involved multiple lottery selections, dealing with many injuries along the way. Nevertheless, Scott’s team regressed throughout the 2012-13 season, finishing 29th in field goal percentage (.434) and dead last in field goal percentage allowed (..476)—they allowed a league-worst 1.27 points per shot.

Scott had his option for the 2013-14 season picked up by the Cavaliers this past summer, but the lack of growth and direction—coupled with rumblings of a locker room lost—would eventually prove to force Dan Gilbert and Chris Grant to look in another direction. Gilbert and Grant had been mysteriously quiet for much of the last six weeks of the NBA season.

Speculation surrounding Scott’s dismissal was reported earlier this week.

[Related: A big summer for Kyrie, in more ways than one]

  • Vindictive_Pat

    This is true, but my best guess is that they will not look to use that pick on a scorer, but rather a defender and stat-sheet filler who can hit open threes at a high percentage. There’s only so many shots to go around on the starting unit and I think that Grant designed this team to give the vast majority of those shots to Irving and Waiters. That’s how I’m interpreting Grant’s vision anyway… I guess we’ll see how true to form it is.

  • mgbode

    yeah, Chris Grant is terrible.

    He turned Mo Williams into Kyrie Irving.
    He turned Ramon Sessions into 2 mid-1st round picks.
    He turned Jon Leuer into Speights and Ellington.
    He drafted TT & Waiters when noone had them that high. And, even in hindsight, an argument can be made that each was the correct choice.
    He didn’t sign any bad long-term deals and we have financial flexibility.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m rubbed out on Cleveland sports!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    So your the one who has been illegally partaking of my new special brew I call “KoolAidaliers 2013!” I can never see Waiters morphing into anything mildly resembling Kevin Durant in any way but we’ll see. Time is on Waiters side right now.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Kirk

  • mgbode

    I think you have it backwards.

    Irving is our efficient scorer (Durant).
    Waiters is our bulk/inefficient scorer (Westbrook).
    We still need a team defense.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Don’t forget about the first round pick he got along with Speights and Ellington! Well said, though… I’ve been a big fan of most of the moves he’s made. A team starting two first year and two second year players is going to lose a lot… I don’t care who those players are.

  • Captain Kidd

    On another note, if the Cavs won the lottery – who would you guys pick? I think I would go with McLemore. Noel scares me…

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Well, you’re thinking too narrowly :) He doesn’t need to be in the mold of Durant… he can be in the mold of Wade if he wants (and that’s a better comparison). Or, flip it… Kyrie scores all over the court a la Durant, Waiters is more of a drive to the basket and mid-range jumper guy like Westbrook.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The breakdown comes with however you want to apply Waiters but like I said with Pat Dion has time on his side.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Irving and Waiters didn’t seem to play well together so it’ll be interesting to see what happens. Two guys who basically did the same thing but perhaps it will all be because of Scott.

  • Lunch

    Otto Porter. Because I really think the Cavs will sign Greg Oden, and thus eliminate the need to draft Noel. Also, I don’t see the point of drafting McLemore since we already have Waiters, unless McLemore can play SF.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Yeah, they will have to figure it out for sure… anytime you have two players who like to have the ball in their hands (LeBron & Wade, Westbrook & Durant, Parker & Ginobli, Lin & Harden), they need to figure out a way to share the ball.

  • woofersus

    I think Oden and Noel would be perfectly complimentary to each other. Oden will be healthy until December, and Noel will get on the floor by January…

  • Guest

    Not happening, but he would make a great defensive assistant coach.

  • woofersus

    Brian Shaw comes to mind. Can you say Triangle?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cb.everett.9 CB Everett

    Very good points, but they are pearls before swine, my friend. Dude seems like he needs to relocate to a new city. We won’t object to any takers

  • Lunch

    So what to do with Zeller, Speights (assuming he stays), Verejao, Thompson, Oden, and Noel? Too many players for such little playing time.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    My problem is when you list the dynamic duos like you just did Irving and Waiters come in last for me and it’s not even close. Even after Harden and Lin who IMO don’t work well together. Harden has to dominate the ball to be most effective. Hopefully that’ll change at least they won’t have Scott to blame if it doesn’t.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think that’s a fine problem to have after their first season together, though. It took LBJ and Wade a while to figure it out, it took Durant a Westbrook a while, etc. I don’t think we can view Kyrie and Dion as they are now and think that is the model for forever going forward… they are both still so young, they are both definitely going to grow more as players. The guys I mentioned are well past this stage, even Harden & Lin.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yea well we’ll see what happens time will tell as it always does. Lebron and Wade was just a matter of Wade deferring to LeBron and being willing to play a supporting role on what was his team. I don’t think that kind of thing can be overlooked in sports today. It worked once and looks to have a real good chance at #2. Unfortunately.

    I don’t like the duo of Harden and Lin myself.

  • woofersus

    I was being sarcastic. (mostly) I don’t think Speights returns. He’s tall, and somebody will overpay for his services. (look what Asik got last offseason) That leaves Varejao, Thompson, and Zeller. We could use one more big, and also to plan for the eventual departure of Varejao. That makes room for two, although they don’t necessarily both have to be added this year. Oden would have to be a low priced flyer on potential. I don’t think anybody is counting on him staying healthy at this point. I’m not opposed to taking a chance on him if the price is right, though. With Noel, if they think he’s the best player in the draft and have a chance to take him, then I think you have to do it. They are separate decisions and not necessarily mutually exclusive. Yes it’s 5 bigs, but when two of those are injury prone and one is a rookie coming off ACL repair, that doesn’t seem like such a stretch.

    That being said, if they can’t get Noel I don’t think they should take a center with their first pick. Rookie bigs are slow to develop and we already have 2 young ones.

  • Captain Kidd

    I think the Cavs should get the best player regardless of position. I think Waiters coming off the bench as the sixth man would actually be better for the team.

  • Steve

    He turned Mo Williams into a 2% chance at Irving. The other 98% was out of his hands. Kudos to him for having the only owner cheap enough to have enough room under the cap to make the Leuer deal, and that was even after having to take on salary to get those picks with Sessions.

    You get my point. He’s done a fine enough job, but let’s not act like he’s spun straw into gold. We’re still a mid 20 win team that has a lot of work to do to even sniff a playoff spot, much less contend for a championship.

  • Steve

    What do you with Zeller and Speights? We’re worried about finding time for backups? We must have a great team. What do you with Varejao and Oden? Pray like hell that they can stay healthy enough to contribute.

    You don’t pass on Noel for a group that has combined for zero all star appearances.

  • Yup@nope.com

    I’m sure that had nothing to co with them only playing half the season together or anything!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m speaking to the start of the season when both were healthy. Kind of what led Scott to move Waiters to the bench and moving Miles to starting SG.

  • mgbode
  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Rumors already abound of a Mike Brown possible return. Oh joy!

  • Crowsfoot

    Sure, Scott didn’t have much to work with, but winnable games needed to be won. Also, show me one time, just one time, that he got a technical foul called against him, or argued a call that went against us. He stood on the sidelines with a grin on his face for the past three years and never once changed his demeanor. A team in our situation needs a go-getter. As for developing point guards, the few he’s coached were great to begin with.