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Byron Scott fired as coach of Cleveland Cavaliers

Apr 18, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT

Byron Scott, Tristan Thompson

This had been a hot rumor the final weeks of the season, and now apparently it has come to pass.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired Byron Scott as coach, reports the well-connected Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (since confirmed by multiple sources).

Owner Dan Gilbert has been unhappy with the Cavs’ lack of defensive improvement over the past three years, one team source said, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation, and Gilbert was the driving force behind the firing.

The 24-58 Cavaliers were 27th in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season, giving up 106.9 points per 100 possessions (via the NBA’s official statistics). They were 26th in the NBA the season before that and 29th in Scott’s first season.

While nobody expected Scott to win with this roster, there were questions about whether Scott’s hard-driving style — first learned playing as a pro under Pat Riley — was a good fit with the young Cavaliers team. Players talked about feeling worn down. Let’s say the Cavaliers atmosphere was not a positive one.

The Cavaliers looked like they had thrown in the towel the final weeks of the season, and that included star Kyrie Irving. That would be the same Irving who didn’t exactly run to his coach’s defense recently but seemed disappointed on Thursday when it went down.

This is a very tempting job for potential coaches — they have a young superstar in Irving, some good young rotation players such as Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters, and they have a whole lot of cap space to lure talent. This is a team poised to make a leap under the right leadership.

  1. andyhr17 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I think what sums up the failure of the Cavaliers is what you wrote with “some good young rotation players such as Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters”. There were very high draft picks. Along with Tyler Zeller, the Cavs have basically been using top draft picks very poorly.

    • slowclyde86 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Eh, not so much.

      -Zeller was picked at 17 (who do expect at that point?) and looks like a viable big back-up (not to mention that bigs generally take longer to develop). He’ll be fine with some more muscle on him and a couple of years of work.
      -Thompson is turning into a double-double guy, really coming on once Varegao went down and he got some minutes. A very solid pick.
      -As to Waiters, it is still early but he has shown flashes. Might pan out, might not, but his upside was probably worth the risk.
      -Even Irving was not a slam dunk for some pundits v. Williams in this draft. Grant is doing more than fine with the picks he’s had in what were mediocre to poor draft classes.

      You can always cherry-pick subsequent selections that look great now, but on the whole, I like what Grant is doing.

    • andyhr17 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      My apologies to the thumbs down. I guess Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller will be great.

      • borderline1988 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        These last few years produced weak drafts…I’m not exactly sure who they could have picked otherwise that would have made any difference…

        But at least they have Irving. The hardest part of a rebuild is actually landing that potential superstar…sometimes teams are at the bottom for years before they get that player. Or they land a so-so star (think John Wall in Washington or Chris Bosh in Toronto) who would make them good but not a contender, and actually sets them back even more b/c you don’t get the high lottery picks anymore.

        Irving looks like the next Chris Paul, although I think he will be even better. If Cleveland lucks into another star in one of the next 2 drafts (like OKC did) or is able to sign a premier free agent, things in Cleveland will start looking a lot better. They’re not going to be much better next season, but I have a good feeling about their prospects the following year.

      • andyhr17 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        I can’t argue the Irving pick. He’s going to be a star. Just need to have more hits than misses with high draft picks.

        Thompson could end up being damn good. Trade Varajeo for whatever they can get for him as soon as he gets healthy…before he gets injured again. Until they build a good young core than show improvement what star is going to come to Cleveland to play?

      • slowclyde86 - Apr 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Who ever said that Waiters and Zeller would be “great”, and how is that relevant to an assessment of the Cavs use of pics?

        Hit a strawman much, do ya?

  2. southbeachtalent - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM


  3. unxpexted1 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    A shame

  4. spunjmunke - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Listening to this guy’s post game conferences, it’s quite evident that he gave up on this season and this team just as much, if not more than the team did. The Cavs did him a favor by firing him. If they wanted to punish him for something, they would have kept him one more year.

    So now who are they going to get that will actually want to come coach this hot mess?

  5. readysethike - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    good riddance

  6. lbroberts123 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Phil Jackson

    • tuberippin - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:04 PM


  7. rj2323 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Big mistake. He’s a good coach he helped develop a young Chris Paul in New Orleans an he did it again in Cleveland with Irving. He’s a good coach an knows his stuff this just wasn’t the right team for him I say next year he will get another shot

  8. daniel10017 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    It looks like its the end of the line for Scott as head coach in the NBA. He also wore out his welcome with the NJ Nets. In retrospect Scott was foolish to take the Cavaliers job in the first place without having Lebron James sign on the dotted line. This is the main reason why Cleveland couldn’t attract other big names when Mike Brown was let go, they didn’t have 100% assurance that Lebron was going to stay.

  9. deavn - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    You people know NOTHING about Byron Scott. His offensive system was ineffective. Especially for the roster he had. So was his defensive system. For example, Tristan Thompson is just downright terrible in pick and roll defense and Scott neglected to teach Thompson that. Also, His practices were long and draining and that’s not good for a young roster. They need the right amount of rest and practice. He’s a good coach, but Cleveland is not the right place for him. Best of luck Scott.

  10. rodgersmvp - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    We can all agree he rocks that suit though, right?

  11. blantoncollier - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Cavs had to make this move. They lost 16 out of the last 18. The team failed to improve on defense. Irving has great talent, but he is immature and has durability issues.

    Not sure who would want to coach this team. But you can be sure he will be a defensive minded, players coach. Rather than an old school, hard ass, offensive guy.

    Hey isnt Mike Brown available?

  12. daniel10017 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    I have no sympathy for Byron Scott. He was an idiot to take the job in the first place WITHOUT 100% ASSURANCE WHETHER LEBRON JAMES WAS GOING TO SIGN. I guess in the end money talks, he must have been desperate for cash. I just don’t see him ever getting another opportunity.

  13. lexington11 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    To have the “right leadership” you have to start at the top by having Gilbert quit his whining and sell the team. Then they might have a chance at doing things the right way!

  14. zacksdad - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Mike D’Antoni

  15. patfic15 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Why? You give him nothing to work with, this is the result. Irving is solid but always hurt. Varejo out this year. Basically rooks running the show some night. Pathetic. Lebron was smart to leave. Same team that wouldn’t give up Hickson for Amare….when Amare was good!

    • chief0727 - Apr 18, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      As usual people with no clue rehashing the same old tired lies. As reported by numerous sources, including then Suns GM Steve Kerr, the Cavs NEVER refused to trade Hickson. Why let facts get in the way of a misinformed comment though !

  16. chichi78 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    One thing that can be said about yhe Cavs is that they are really unpredictable when it cones to drafting. Not that they are bad players, but Tristen and Dion were real reaches, especially when considering who was drafted after them.

  17. stephenolszewski - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Tristan Thompson made alot of progress this year his post game developed quite a bit, solid footwork, and rebounded well I know not having Varejao there opened up more opportunities for him to get more boards. The Cavs didnt waste picks considering Kyrie, Tristan, and Dion is a good core to build around. They just have nothing outside of them since Varejao can’t stay healthy and Zeller was so inconsistent. When you have D League players coming off your bench and Omri Casspi, Daniel Gibson, and Others I don’t even think Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich could produce championship basketball with this roster. You could tell Byron did give up but his offense and defensive schemes were piss poor all I ask is that we don’t bring back Mike Brown

  18. mazblast - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Scott was a system player who was lucky enough to play (and play quite well) for some great teams. He’s parlayed that into a coaching career, which has worked out quite lucratively for him and poorly for fans of the teams he’s coached.

    Now he can become an overpaid “expert” on a cable network. The work is easier, there’s less travel, and you get to speak in cliché on designated talking points, with no nasty reporters asking you hard questions like, “Why does your team stink?”

  19. cantonbound13 - Apr 18, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Nellie!!! Bring back the fish ties.

  20. badintent - Apr 18, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Mistake by the Lake(er)

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 18, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      Which one?

      • badintent - Apr 20, 2013 at 2:13 AM

        take your pick !The usual suspects. A Buss, Mitch, Coach killer Kobe, one of the Laker Girls, Jack,Dyan Cannon and her cannons, the list is long

  21. jjones314 - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Remember when Dan Gilbert said LBJ was “Cursed”


    What an idiot. The Cavs are cursed. They are god awful.

  22. cornbreadbbqred - Apr 19, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Good development for Lakers fans! Scott would be the perfect understudy assistant coach for a returning Phil Jackson. He has Showtime era legitimacy, took a mediocre New Jersey Nets to team to back-to-back finals, and teaches basketball IQ rather than highlight reels. Dan Gilbert has to have the same hole in his head he had when he failed to keep LeBron happy with a mediocre coach who could not match wits with NBA elite coaching competition during playoff time.

    I love the Lakers at least making the playoffs. However, that organization needs to think of what will keep the seats filled during Kobe’s rehab. and rebuilding transition, by bringing a Showtime keystone personality back to the organization and on the sideline!

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