Scott was fired Thursday following a third straight losing season with Cleveland, an 82-game rollercoaster that included injuries, blown leads and a dismal final few weeks.
Scott went 64-166 in his three years with the Cavs, who were weakened by injuries this season but also showed little progress under him. Scott was informed he would not be coming back one day after Cleveland closed the frustrating season with its sixth straight loss to finish 24-58 — the NBA’s third-worst record.
Scott leaves with one season left on his contract. The Cavs picked up his option for 2014 in October.
The Cavs’ three seasons under Scott were among the worst in franchise history. He isn’t solely to blame, but his young team in 2013 seemed to tune him out down the stretch, leaving owner Dan Gilbert no choice but to make a coaching change for the second time in four years.
“I wish Byron Scott and his entire family the best going forward,” Gilbert said in a release. “Byron is a class guy, both on and off the court, and I thank him for his three years of coaching the Cavaliers. I fully support the difficult move that was made today. Although we saw progress with young individual player development, we did not see the kind of progress we expected on the team level this past season.
“We understand it was challenging with the injuries, but when you are at our stage in the building process, you don’t only measure team progress in wins and losses.”
The Cavs said general manager Chris Grant will immediately begin a search for find a replacement for Scott, who was hired in 2010 — shortly before superstar LeBron James left.
The team did make some history with Scott during the 2012-13 season, but none the Cavs want to be remembered for.
They lost four games in which they led by at least 20 points, becoming the only team to do that in at least the past 10 years, according to STATS LLC. One of those four losses — on March 20 at home against James and the Miami Heat — may have sealed Scott’s fate.
Leading the NBA’s defending champions by 27 points, the Cavs collapsed and lost 98-95. Scott was harshly criticized following the game, not only for some his substitution patterns but also for not calling a timeout during a pivotal stretch in the second half to slow Miami’s charge.
The Cavs lost 16 of their final 18 games under Scott.