Monday, February 9, 2015

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott enjoyed his time in Cleveland, but doesn't feel he got a 'fair chance'


Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott spent three loss-filled seasons in Cleveland roaming the sidelines for the Cavaliers, but admitted on Sunday afternoon he believes it should have been more.

"My thought was going into that year if by December if it wasn't getting done, yeah I thought I should be fired," Scott said prior to Sunday's game. "So when it happened I was a little disappointed but I think, we all as coaches, when you get fired are disappointed and I think most of us think or feel you didn't get a fair chance. I guess I'm no different."
 Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott spent three loss-filled seasons in Cleveland roaming the sidelines for the Cavaliers...

Scott was named Cavs head coach, taking over for Mike Brown, shortly after LeBron James announced his intentions to join the Miami Heat during the summer of 2010.

Still, even with plenty of dark days on the court during Scott's tenure, he doesn't regret taking the job.

"I wouldn't appreciate where I am right now," Scott said. "I never look back. I really try not to do that. I try to focus on the present and the future instead of the past. The past, I can't do nothing about. But today I can and hopefully tomorrow I can do something about that. Right now when you're talking about a couple of years ago, I can't do nothing about that."

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert fired Scott on April 18, 2013 after he produced a 64-166 record in three seasons during the post-LeBron era. There were defensive issues, losing streaks and trades intended for one main goal: Get as many high draft picks as possible to build a new, young core to compete in the future.

Scott is in a familiar spot with Los Angeles right now. He took over a team that finished 27-55 a season ago, second worst in the Western Conference, and isn't faring much better this season.

The Lakers entered Sunday's game with a 13-37 record and will need to start looking toward the future with superstar Kobe Bryant, 36, sidelined for the remainder of the year, leaving his future in doubt.

"We're going through the same process of just trying to get through a season and all the injuries we've been getting lately has been crazy as we try to build a different culture here," Scott said. "It's no different a few years ago in Cleveland than it is presently in L.A."

Not every coach would be willing to walk into a situation that looks bleak. Plenty of experienced coaches are looking for a place to win, but Scott has put his faith in the Lakers' organization. He is trusting that ownership will stick with him longer than Gilbert was willing to.

"You can only go by what you hear and obviously I'm trusting in the Buss family because I've known them guys for a long time, known (General Manager) Mitch (Kupchak) for a long time, that they said, 'Hey these first couple years might be a little rough, are you OK with that?' And I said, 'Well, are you guys OK with that?' That's the biggest question. They said 'absolutely.' So I'm in this for the long haul."

Scott is in Los Angeles now trying to focus on the future, but being back in Cleveland brings back positive memories.

"It's nice. I enjoyed the time I had here," Scott said. "The fans here were unbelievable. Everywhere I used to go, the restaurants and places I'd visit while in Cleveland, people were great. The city was fantastic for me."

James is back in Cleveland as well, but his stay is likely to be much longer.

"I was a little shocked by it," Scott said of James' decision to leave Miami after four straight NBA Finals trips. "After listening to Pat Riley's comments I kind of understood too. LeBron probably took that as a challenge. The bottom line is he was a free agent. He had a choice to make and that's his right being a free agent. He chose to come back. I don't think anyone can fault him for that."

Scott, who knows Riley well, also believes the comments this summer toward James might have backfired and given James a nudge out of South Beach.