Byron Scott, the former Los Angeles Lakers guard who coached a depleted Cleveland team, was fired by the Cavaliers Thursday morning.
Playing mostly without all-star guard Kyrie Irving, the Cavs lost 16 of their final 18 games to finish at 24-58, the third-worst record in the NBA. The team blew several large leads, including a 27-point home lead against the Miami Heat in the final weeks of the season.
Still, Scott’s tenure with the Cavs has been marred first by LeBron James’ exit to Miami just after he accepted the job, an inferior roster, and injury to key players.
“I have tremendous respect for Byron professionally and a great deal of admiration for him personally,” Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said. “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.”
The Cavs ranked 26th in defensive efficiency in each of the last two seasons and 29th in Scott’s first year in 2010-11.
During training camp the Cavs picked up the option in Scott’s contract for next season, which was valued at more than $4 million. He had a record of 64-166 in three seasons. His overall record as coach is 416-521 with the New Jersey Nets, who he took twice led to the NBA Finals, New Orleans Hornets and Cavaliers.