Joe-Pinions: Sports

12 Jan 2011 – The Tragedy of Byron Scott

Posted in Basketball by txtmstrjoe on 13/01/2011

What must be on Byron Scott‘s mind these days?

If you asked him, chances are he’d tell you that all he’s focusing on is thinking of ways to improve his Cleveland Cavaliers.  He definitely would have a ton to think about, since the Cavs are unquestionably now the worst team in the NBA.

That opinion cannot have been more emphasized by the Cavaliers’ 55pt loss to the Los Angeles Lakers two nights ago.  In fact, if the Lakers scored two more points, they would have exactly doubled the Cavaliers’ entire output (Los Angeles won 112-57).

When was the last time you saw a professional basketball team lose by just two points shy of double its entire offensive output?

As the Cavs’ head coach, the buck stops at his desk.  It doesn’t matter that he’s got no superstars on his roster, a requirement for any sort of success in the NBA.  It’s a superstar-driven league.  All you’ve got now are no-name wannabes like Mo Williams and up-and-coming solid players like J.J. Hickson.  

It doesn’t matter if Anderson Varejão, one of the team’s most important players (he’s not the leading scorer, but he’s a power forward/center on a team desperately short of big men), is out for the year with a torn ankle tendon.  As the coach, Byron Scott has got to scheme around the deficiency.  Trouble is, you simply cannot teach size, as they say in basketball.

It doesn’t matter if your team’s owner, Dan Gilbert, seems to be someone who just has a ton of money and not any other real qualification for being an NBA team owner.  He signs the checks, but isn’t able to attract any people on the management and coaching side of the team who have a track record of success.  (Danny Ferry as your old GM?  Seriously?  Mike Brown, the most undeserving winner of the NBA’s Coach of the Year award?  These were his ex-GM and head coach, respectively.  No joke.)

It doesn’t matter if you thought, or hoped, LeBron James would be staying in Cleveland when you decided to sign on the dotted line as this hapless franchise’s head coach.  Why would you want to coach a player – unquestionably a superstar in talent, but an absolute muppet as a human being – who feels no compunction about destroying his coaches in public?  LeBron may be a great player if you just look at the stats, but he’s got a big fat goose egg on the stat that stands out most to people who truly understand this game:  Championships won = ZERO.

Pundits mooted Scott to have been a leading contender for the Lakers’ head coaching job when Phil Jackson finally decides enough is enough and walks away.  I don’t actually know how valid all that talk is, but what I do know for sure is that if you’re a head coaching candidate, especially if you’ve got some measure of success in your track record (a Finals appearance in 2002), you never EVER take a job for a historically-bad franchise.  This is especially true if you’re being considered, however unofficially, as a serious contender to coach one of the league’s best franchises.

When was the last time you thought of the Cleveland Cavaliers as a winning franchise?

I never have.

Now Byron Scott, who I think tragically made the wrong decision and went there to coach, will never be considered a winner ever again.

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