We’ve heard the rumblings and grumblings for a few weeks now, and as of late this morning it has shaken out: Byron Scott has been fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Byron Scott was fired today by the Cavaliers, a league source told the Akron Beacon Journal, one day after completing his third season in charge. He departs with a 64-166 record and his .278 winning percentage is the lowest in team history among all coaches (minimum one full season).
Rumors over Scott’s future intensified over the past couple of weeks as the Cavaliers regressed during the month of April, blew big leads throughout the season and gave a sub-par effort on multiple nights.
Owner Dan Gilbert has been unhappy with the Cavs’ lack of defensive improvement over the past three years, one team source said, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation, and Gilbert was the driving force behind the firing.
Scott not only lacked the owner’s approval, but also, apparently, the approval of his star player, Kyrie Irving. Check out this bit from later on in the article:
The relationship between coach and star player also seemed to disintegrate in recent weeks. Irving conceded to being “disinterested” after a midseason loss at Detroit and committed mental blunders both on and off the court as the season concluded.
He hasn’t appeared to be the same player since the All-Star break and conceded before the season finale Wednesday that the frustration of losing and struggling to get back into a rhythm was wearing on him. He shot 47 percent and 43 percent on 3-pointers in 42 games during the first half of the season, but he slipped to 41 percent from the floor and 33 percent on 3-pointers after the break.
Irving sidestepped an initial opportunity to give Scott a strong endorsement but circled back earlier this week and said “absolutely” he wanted Scott to return.
The long-held belief that Irving and Scott were inseparable clearly eroded over the past few weeks.
“They’re close, but they’re not attached at the hip,” one player in the locker room said in recent weeks as Scott’s job security came into question. “I don’t think Kyrie would be really crushed or anything if he was fired.”
Kyrie’s “disinterest” = you browsing openings on Monster.com.
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