Originally written on Stepien Rules  |  Last updated 4/18/13
92945669
Byron Scott compiled a record of 64-166 during his tenure as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.  That mark, for some perspective, is only a 2-14 slide away—during the lockout-shortened season of 2011-12, perhaps—from matching the 66-180 record the Cavs totaled from 1981-83 under the ownership of Ted Stepien. Scott also set an NBA record with 26 consecutive losses in 2011 and saw his winning percentage actually decline from .318 to .293 in his third year on the Cavaliers' sidelines.  With all that in mind, however—along with the personal grudge I somewhat hold against Scott for helping to run my guys Christian Eyenga and Samardo Samuels out of the league—I still woke up on Thursday morning unsure if firing Scott was actually the best move to make.  Dan Gilbert, Chris Grant and the rest of the Cavaliers organization elected to make that move regardless, though, and the search for a new head coach is now underway.  But before I can engage in discussions about Mike Malone, Brian Shaw, Mike Brown (?!?!?) or whoever else, I need to first talk about the many layers of this decision that left me conflicted throughout the day.   1. If Kyrie Irving didn't want Byron Scott fired, why do it? My thought process during the month of April went like this: the only way Byron Scott would / could / should be fired is if Kyrie Irving wanted him gone.  As I watched Irving turn in the worst month of his NBA career while his "Basketball Father" sat scorching on the hot seat, I started to think that maybe he was cool with a new voice in the huddle.  Not necessarily calling for Byron to lose his job, mind you, but okay if the ax came down. After standing three feet away from Kyrie while he addressed the media at Cleveland Clinic Courts, though, the kid looked to me like someone had just shot his dog. "I feel like I lost a part of myself," he said, as depressed as I've ever seen him. So while I walked into Cleveland Clinic Courts thinking that maybe Irving did want Scott out, I left completely convinced of the opposite. Nobody is that good of an actor, not even the guy who plays Uncle Drew.   2. Is firing Scott, then, in some ways, a move towards the type of organizational control the Cavaliers lacked during the LeBron James Era? I suppose we can only surmise that it is, then, if the decision came in contrast with what your superstar wanted. Irving, in my humble opinion, did not want Scott to be fired. Tristan Thompson certainly didn't and I'd imagine Dion Waiters didn't either after Scott was as vocal as he was in his desire to spend the fourth overall pick on a Sixth Man from Syracuse.  Those three aside, then, who's left? The only other people who matter, as it relates to the rebuilding effort specifically, are the general manager and the owner. The ultimate group who then decided to act in the best interest of the organization even if that interest conflicted with the desires of Irving? Is that the narrative?   3. Which also makes me wonder why I am questioning the narrative of a coach who was fired after losing nearly as much as the late Ted Stepien did.  My real problem here, I've decided, is that I completely bought into "The Process" so much that I became numb to the losing. I covered every home game during the losing streak of 2010-11 and essentially cried uncle already before setting my sights on 2013-14 campaign. A season, they said, when the organizational goal would inevitably shift to winning now, and away from tanking towards draft picks and lottery balls. That process involved extending Byron Scott's contract as recently as this year. If I can just watch that defense with my hands over my eyes a little bit longer, I thought, everything will be okay by next season. That's when the owner's desire to win would trickle down to the general manager, then to the coach and eventually to the players. That culture of winning would again be created and the season would be filled with talk of No. 6 and No. 7 seeds while the Cavaliers jockeyed for position in the Eastern Conference. The embarrassing efforts were supposed to be ending soon.   4. But maybe thought processes like that are why the Cavaliers needed the fresh start a new coach would inevitably provide? I would have liked to see the Cavaliers believe in their process enough to see it through to completion.  By completion I mean allow Scott to Coach Irving in year three of his young NBA career and see what happens from there  Despite that, I drove back down the road to work after the Irving presser thinking that maybe they'd have just lost next year too anyway, and a fresh start now is better than a fresh start later. The organizational decision to lose over the last two seasons had forced everyone to lose just a little bit more.  Now that's over, and the next coach--along with Chris Grant--will be held to a new standard in 2013-14. We'll see what happens then, I guess. In the meantime, though, best of luck to Byron Scott in his next adventure.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kobe responds to Aldridge report with funny meme

One pitch away: Carrasco loses no-hitter in bottom of the 9th

England loses World Cup semifinal to Japan in heartbreaking fashion

Braxton Miller had 'successful' check-up visit

Raptors signing Carroll is shrewdest move of free agency

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Los Angeles Clippers will sign Paul Pierce

With Kevin Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Aldridge crosses Lakers off list, did not mesh well with Kobe

Jerry Dipoto officially steps down as Angels GM

Report: Rajon Rondo wants 'all of' Kings' $10M cap space

Reports: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson returning to Cavs

David West explains why he opted out of Pacers contract

Warriors, Draymond Green agree to 5-year, $85 million deal

Twins call up top prospect Miguel Sano

Robert Griffin III speaks at UN to advocate for protecting oceans

Cavaliers re-sign Iman Shumpert to four-year contract

Mike Green is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans until 2020

ESPN denies censoring Keith Olbermann commentary

The best and worst MLB players in the month of June

Report: Lakers didn’t make strong impression on Aldridge

Danny Green takes the Andre Iguodala path

DeSean Jackson rips Eagles in new reality TV show

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.