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.