With the NBA free agency season beginning Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers will name Byron Scott as their new head coach in a press conference Thursday. The Cavaliers are making a push to resign their top free agent LeBron James, who is being courted by several teams.
Scott reportedly impressed interviewers in the Cavaliers front office so much that they passed on Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw. Shaw interviewed with the Cavaliers earlier in the week, and was among the top candidates for the job.
This is the third head coaching job for Scott in the NBA. He formerly was the boss with the New Jersey Nets and the New Orleans Hornets. In his NBA career, Scott has a 352-355 in the regular season and playoffs.
With the Nets from 2001-2004, Scott took a poor squad and turned it into a successful playoff team. He built a strong nucleus in New Jersey, and took them to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. He was fired the following season after his team opened the season with a 22-20 record before the All-Star break.
In 2005, Scott became the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets. The team saw hard times in the beginning of Scott’s tenure as hurricane Katrina forced the team to play most of their home games in Oklahoma City. During the 07-08 season they had their first winning season under Scott. They were the second overall seed in the NBA playoffs, and Scott was named the 2008 Western Conference All-Star Team.
The future is not certain in Cleveland, but team officials think Scott’s experience in rebuilding teams would be beneficial if James signs or not. Scott also has experience in the NBA as a player. Scott played 14 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers, and Vancouver Grizzlies.
In 11 seasons with the Lakers, Scott won three NBA championships. James is looking for his first NBA title in seven seasons as a pro. Scott befriended point guard Chris Paul while in New Orleans, one of James’ best friends in the NBA. Paul is currently looking for a team with a commitment to win.
NBA sportsbooks have set odds for the city James will land in. The line for LeBron to sign with the New York Knicks has been set at 16/1. The Cavaliers are favored in the betting at 10/1.