Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/7/14
92945669
Byron Scott is a paternal figure. Wise and experienced, the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach tells stories fit for the campfire. He has won multiple championships in the City of Angels, partied with Jack Nicholson, and shared a locker room with Big Country. He appreciates the finer things, is an NBA historian, and oftentimes finds himself wondering just what makes today’s players tick. In what is very much a “kids these days” manner, Scott feels that efforts tend to be misguided—focus is paid to personal brands, impending contracts and me-first scoring rather than concentrating on defense, the fans who pay their hard-earned dollars and the ever popular full 48 minutes of work. He is the definition of “old school.” He once referred to today’s generation of players as “scary,” but in the  perjorative. When Carmelo Anthony was demanding a trade, all Scott could do was bite his tongue. At one point last season, Scott referenced Sidney Moncrief—one of the greatest defenders in the history of the NBA—only to be met with blank stares from his apprenticed audience.  Scott offers tough love to his players. His preseason workouts are notoriously tough. He is demanding from start to finish. Akin to any parent-child relationship, it is not until long afterwards that the appreciation sets in. What may have been a stingy allowance was merely an attempt to instill financial responsibility. What was construed as an unfair curfew was simply means to force discipline. And what may have been assumed to be senseless chores and indentured servitude was a way to channel accountability and earning ones keep.  It was Byron Scott’s unwillingness to bend his rules in an era that was all too lackadaisical that led to his New Jersey Nets playing in the NBA Finals. It was Byron Scott’s extreme expectations that have helped mold Chris Paul into the perennial MVP candidate he is today. It is this style of coaching that led to Scott being named NBA Coach of the Year in 2008 and then as a coach whom players would least like to play for two years later. And, unfortunately, it’s the same mantra that has led Scott to be the target of an anonymous attack from one of his players. With no benefit of hindsight just yet, there is undoubtedly a level of frustration setting in during the home stretch of the 2012-13 regular season. Losses continue to pile up—some in epic fashion.  Scott has taken the role of the demanding father, requiring more from his players as the season wears on. Team shootarounds today are just as long as they were during the onset of the season; practices are still used as punishment at times when the head coach feels that the team did not give maximum effort in a previous contest. The anonymous player dubbed this as “crazy” given the point in the season. This sentiment was quickly refuted by a veteran player, but also by the actions of one Kyrie Irving who had petitioned his head coach to let him back on the floor earlier than previously anticipated. Coincidentally, it was also Irving who came to Scott’s defense following the release of the Sports Illustrated poll. It is easy to portend the end of the Byron Scott era when it comes to misused timeouts, questionable rotations and shoddy defensive effort—these are hallmarks of a head coach. The argument that the Cavaliers should have more wins at this point in their rebuilding process is one that can be easily supported; many of their oh-so-close losses can often be directly pinned to a decision—or lack of—by Scott. But to conflate Scott’s future based on the frustration and unhappiness of one cowardly player is misguided. Professional athletes are hard-wired to yearn victory. The Cavaliers under Scott yet to accrue many wins. If all of this running and “crazy” requirements were leading to victories, it would be easy to attribute success and the whining would carry little value. Instead, the focus on conditioning is now relegated to a straw man, used as means of blame as the team drops its seventh and eight straight contest. If Byron Scott were to be relieved of his duties, it would be due to a lack of wins in what is considered to be the second year of the rebuilding process—not be because he pushed his players too hard. Alas, players should not expect their hard-nosed coach to let off of the gas merely due to the finish line being within reach. Dan Gilbert has stated that—regardless of what the calendar says—this season was Year 2 of the team’s rebuilding process. While Scott’s players may not know who Sidney Moncrief is, they should be well aware of Scott’s track record when it comes to turning teams around, starting with the third season. This tenacity and management style are some of the integral reasons why Gilbert brought Scott on board following the departure of Mike Brown. After years of a system that let players run the asylum, Gilbert demanded a change in culture. While this change has not necessarily resulted in wins just yet, it is one that was mutually understood upon his hiring and one that would be an utter shock if it led to any sort of departure just months after the team picked up his option for the 2013-14 campaign. There is undoubtedly be a generational gap between Scott, his championship rings and this current crop of players. Scott may have been forced to walk the Hollywood Hills (uphill, mind you) both ways. His version of Call of Duty involved setting a hard screen on one of the Detroit Bad Boys. While his players are hob-knobbing with 2 Chainz and Pitbull, Scott is blaring Otis Redding and Al Green. But as long as Dan Gilbert is behind him, Scott’s stories and choice of song will win out, his players will run, and his team will—hopefully—inch closer to contention. After all, father knows best. —– Image: Scott Sargent/WFNY
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Matt Millen leaving ESPN for FOX, Big Ten Network

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout loss to Yankees

John Farrell: Pitchers need an approved gripping substance

Cam Newton: Nobody has ever been who I'm trying to be

Bears cut Ray McDonald after domestic violence arrest

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paul Pierce could opt out of contract, join Clippers

Report: NBA exploring moving start of Finals up

Isaiah Thomas: Danny Ainge wants my input on free agents

Brian Matusz suspended eight games for substance on arm

Baseball players in the military: A tribute

'Free Tom Brady' rally draws about 150 Patriots fans

Stephen Curry leaves Game 4 after nasty fall, returns later

WATCH: Khris Davis trolls umps after controversial homer

Is Adrian Peterson leveraging himself out of the league?

Mascot creates controversy with 'Police Lives Matter' sign

The Talented Mr. Blatt

The curious case of Frank Kaminsky

Is the Cavs' Matthew Dellavedova a dirty player?

LeBron lifts Cavaliers to brink of Finals, but are they ready?

Will Phil Jackson give himself a chance to succeed with Knicks?

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

NBA 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

WATCH: Curry leaves game after nasty fall

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

Could the NBA Finals be moved up?

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

Ballplayers in the military: A tribute

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

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.