Cavaliers Hire Byron Scott as Head Coach
The Cleveland Cavaliers ended their coaching search Thursday with the hiring of Byron Scott, according to ESPN.
Scott, 49, will become the 18th coach in the history of the Cavaliers franchise, and was considered the top contender for the position when Los Angeles Lakers assistant Brian Shaw withdrew his name from consideration, presumably due to the uncertainty of if the Cavaliers would re-sign LeBron James.
For Byron Scott, the question of if LeBron would re-sign with the team does not seem to bother him. In fact, if the team does not re-sign James, it would not stop him in the Cavs rebuilding effort. After initial struggles with the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets, Scott turned the teams into winners. He set franchise records for wins in a regular season with New Jersey (52) and New Orleans (56), appeared in two NBA Finals with the Nets (2002, 2003). He also won three championships with the Lakers as a player in the Showtime era. Reports have said that LeBron has wanted to play for a coach who has played in the NBA before.
Cleveland fired their previous head coach Mike Brown on May 24th despite back-to-back 60-win seasons, but the team did not perform well in the playoffs, losing to Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009, and then losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2010. The Cavaliers offered the head coaching job to Michigan State University head coach Tom Izzo, but Izzo turned down the position.
After interviewing Scott, the Cavaliers interviewed Shaw for the job. It was widely speculated that both men were waiting on Phil Jackson's decision to return to the Lakers. Scott was very interested in the job, and Shaw had been the top assistant. Both men denied those reports, but the speculation on Shaw is back with him withdrawing his name from the search, and allowing Cleveland to pave the way for a contract with Scott. The positive relationship between Jason Kidd and Chris Paul (both of whom are good friends with James) may also give the Cavaliers a positive outlook on keeping James in Northeast Ohio.
Scott will be introduced as the Cavs' head coach at a press conference Thursday.