Perhaps the players on the Cleveland Cavaliers stopped listening to Byron Scott, let alone giving up carrying out his instructions. That happens, a demanding coach like Scott losing his influence. So now Dan Gilbert and the team’s front office are searching for a new coach, even warming again to Mike Brown, who understands fully that winning in the NBA starts with defense.
Yet before the Scott years are pushed aside, let’s applaud the way the coach arrived and the steady presence he brought to the sideline.
Scott had reason to think he was walking into something nearly ideal, a new contract for LeBron James, the Cavaliers near the big leap forward. Then, The Decision was made, and the dismantling began, the Cavaliers practically starting over, choosing to build through the draft. The coach would teach and mold, even as the losses mounted.
No surprise he would post the worst winning percentage in club history. The team has Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao (when he is healthy, missing two-thirds of Scott’s tenure). After that, well … work is in progress.
Byron Scott won’t reap the reward of time and patience. That’s too bad. He never flinched from the task or complained about his plight. How sweet it would have been to lead the Cavaliers back into contention. Now someone else will try.