Byron Scott Fired by Cleveland Cavaliers
General manager Chris Grant had this to say about Scott's tenure with the organization:
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. I believe we needed to make this change in order to get to a better position to achieve our goals...
Cleveland was a dismal 64-166 in three seasons under Scott, marking the lowest winning percentage (.278) in franchise history, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The Cavs finished the 2012-13 campaign with the third-worst record in the NBA, going just 24-58.
Scott's firing came as unsettling news for burgeoning superstar Kyrie Irving, according to Lloyd on Twitter:
Kyrie "emotions are running high. I'm trying to get over loss of my basketball father." #Cavs— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) April 18, 2013
Lloyd also mentions that team ownership already has a short list of candidates to interview and plans to hire a replacement quickly.
Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone, Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale, former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and former coach Mike Brown are all reportedly up for consideration.
Owner Dan Gilbert is committed to putting a winning product back on the court, and any one of those men would be an upgrade over Scott, at least on the defensive end.
Under Scott, Cleveland was consistently among the worst teams in the league in terms of opponents' field-goal percentage. The Cavs allowed 47.6 percent of shots against them to fall in 2012-13, 46.7 in 2011-12 and 47.5 in 2010-11.
Who should the Cavs hire?
Brown would be an interesting hire, as the coach spent five seasons with the Cavaliers during the LeBron James era. During that span, he led the club to one NBA Finals appearance, one Eastern Conference Finals loss and three conference semifinal losses before being fired in May 2010.
Van Gundy is another big name, and one that many feel the Orlando Magic brass unjustly fired. He lost his job despite having never missed the playoffs in his five-year tenure with the organization.
Regardless of who the team hires, there will be lofty expectations going into next season. The Cavs should have the pieces in place—including a lottery pick in the upcoming 2013 draft—to contend in the East.
It's just going to take the right coach to guide them through the growing pains.
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