Byron Scott

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For the politician, see Byron N. Scott.
Byron Scott
Byron Scott.jpg
Byron Scott in 2012 as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Personal information
Born (1961-03-28) March 28, 1961 (age 53)
Ogden, Utah
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school Morningside (Inglewood, California)
College Arizona State (1979–1983)
NBA draft 1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the San Diego Clippers
Pro playing career 1983–1998
Position Shooting guard
Number 4
Coaching career 1998–present
Career history
As player:
19831993 Los Angeles Lakers
19931995 Indiana Pacers
1995–1996 Vancouver Grizzlies
1996–1997 Los Angeles Lakers
1997–1998 Panathinaikos (Greece)
As coach:
19982000 Sacramento Kings (assistant)
20002004 New Jersey Nets
20042009 New Orleans Hornets
20102013 Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards

As player:

As coach:

Career NBA statistics
Points 15,097 (14.1 ppg)
Assists 2,729 (2.5 apg)
Steals 1,224 (1.1 spg)
Stats at
Stats at

Byron Antom Scott (born March 28, 1961) is an American retired National Basketball Association player and a former head coach of the NBA's New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, and Cleveland Cavaliers.[1]

Scott grew up in Inglewood, California and played at Morningside High School, in the shadow of what was then the Lakers' home arena, The Forum. He attended Arizona State University, but left school in his junior year to sign with the then San Diego Clippers. He was an important component of the Los Angeles Lakers championship teams of the mid-to-late 1980s.

Playing career[edit]


Selected by the San Diego Clippers with the 4th pick of the 1983 NBA Draft, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1983 in exchange for Norm Nixon. During his playing career, Scott suited up for the Lakers, Indiana Pacers and Vancouver Grizzlies. Scott was a key player for the Lakers during the Showtime era, being a starter alongside Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and A. C. Green. He played for the Lakers for 10 consecutive seasons (1983–1993). During that time he was on three NBA championship teams (1985, 1987, 1988). As a rookie, he was a member of the 1984 all-rookie team, averaging 10.6 PPG in 22 MPG. He led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (.433) in 1984-85. 1987-88 was his best season, leading the NBA champions Lakers in scoring, averaging a career-best 21.7 ppg, and in steals (1.91 spg). Although he was an excellent player and an integral part of one of the greatest teams in NBA history, Byron Scott was never selected to play in the NBA All-Star game. He was the Lakers' starting shooting guard from 1984 until 1993. He was a player who contributed by his shooting. In 1996-97, the last year of Scott's playing career in the NBA, he went back to the Lakers and proved to be a valuable mentor for a team featuring Shaquille O'Neal, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel and 18-year old rookie Kobe Bryant.


Scott as a member of Panathinaikos.

In the summer of 1997, Scott signed with the Greek Basket League team Panathinaikos for the 1997-1998 season. That season, he played with Panathinaikos in both the FIBA Saporta Cup (known then as the FIBA EuroCup), Europe's second-tier level competition after the Euroleague, and the Greek Basket League. In the Saporta Cup's 1997-1998 season, he averaged 13.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.[2]

Scott helped to lead his team to the Greek Basket League championship with his scoring in many crucial games. After one season with the Greek Basket League champions, Scott retired from playing professional basketball, and began his coaching career.

Coaching career[edit]

Byron Scott began his NBA coaching career in 1998, when he began the first of two seasons as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings. He specialized in teaching perimeter shooting during his tenure with the Kings and helped to lead the team to an excellent three-point shooting percentage during a pair of playoff seasons.

New Jersey[edit]

In 2000, Scott took over a struggling New Jersey Nets team. His team performed poorly in his first year, but that changed in the 2001-02 season with the arrival of Jason Kidd as the Nets raced to a franchise record of 52 wins. In the process, they won their first Atlantic division crown and appeared in their first NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite losing the championship series to LA, Scott came back to coach the team through another successful season during the 2002-03 campaign, once again taking the team to the NBA Finals, but losing once again—this time to the San Antonio Spurs. New Jersey was up by double figures in game six, but the Spurs tightened up their defense, which won the game and the championship.

Scott was fired during the 2003–04 season, as New Jersey had a disappointing 22–20 record coming into the All-Star break, even though they were leading their division at the time of his dismissal. Rumors of a rift between Scott and Kidd circulated media outlets, with sources allegedly claiming that Kidd wanted Scott out of Jersey. All the parties, including then Nets GM Rod Thorn, denied the reports. Scott claimed that he was "very surprised" by the report and that he and Kidd "always got along".[3]

He was succeeded by his assistant Lawrence Frank.

While coaching the Nets, Scott lived in Livingston, New Jersey.[4]

New Orleans[edit]

Byron Scott talks to Chris Paul in a 2009 game; Scott was head coach of the New Orleans Hornets from 2004 to 2009.

Scott became the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets in 2004. In the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, he guided the team to a pair of sub .500 seasons. One obstacle was that the team played most of its home games in Oklahoma City due to Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans.

In the 2007–08 season, Scott had his first winning season as the Hornets head coach. They had a winning percentage of .683 with a record of 56–26. They became Southwest Division champions and finished 2nd overall in the Western Conference. The Hornets clinched the Southwest Division title in their win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Byron Scott was named the head coach of the 2008 Western Conference All-Star team, and a few months after, he was awarded the 2007–2008 NBA coach of the year award. Due to his success the Hornets awarded Scott with a two-year extension.

The Hornets had a 30–11 home record and a 26–15 road record and clinched the second seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. The Hornets won their first round series against the Dallas Mavericks, posting a 4–1 record for the series. They would go on to face the defending Champion San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals. An unusual trend of home court blow outs would mark the series until the deciding game 7 when the veteran Spurs would pull out a 91–82 win on the Hornets rowdy home court. The win marked the 100th playoff victory for Spurs coach Greg Popovich.

In the 2008-09, the Hornets finished 49-33 and entered the playoffs as a seventh seed. They faced the Denver Nuggets in the first round losing after five brutal games, including 21 and 29-point blowouts, as well as a 58-point loss in game 4, which tied the worst margin of defeat in NBA postseason history.[5][6](see:2009 NBA playoffs article for more information)

Scott was relieved from his head coaching duties for the Hornets on November 12, 2009, following a 3-6 start.[7] He was mentioned as a candidate for several NBA coaching jobs, including the Chicago Bulls, due to his success coaching another young star point guard Chris Paul.

Following his dismissal, he briefly served as a studio analyst for the NBA on ESPN.

Cleveland Cavaliers[edit]

On July 2, 2010, Scott was named head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, a few days before the team lost star LeBron James to the Miami Heat.[8][9] During his first season at the helm of the Cavs, he watched his team endure the longest losing streak ever in the NBA. The 26-game, record-breaking, losing streak ended on February 11, 2011 when they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in overtime at home. The Cavaliers ended up finishing the season with a 19-63 record which was the second worst record in the NBA, only ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, like his tenure in New Orleans, he was soon blessed with coaching another Rookie of the Year point guard, this time in Kyrie Irving, whom the Cavaliers selected first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. His second season in Cleveland saw them improve to 21 victories in a shortened 66-game schedule.

On April 18, 2013, Scott was fired by Cleveland Cavaliers management.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Scott's non-profit organization, The Byron Scott Children’s Fund, has raised more than $15 million over the past decade, with the proceeds going to various children’s charities.[11] Scott has recently served as a studio analyst for ABC's NBA telecasts and was featured on ESPN.

Scott and his wife, Anita, have three children, Thomas, LonDen and DaRon.[12]

Coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
New Jersey 2000–01 82 26 56 .317 6th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
New Jersey 2001–02 82 52 30 .634 1st in Atlantic 20 11 9 .550 Lost in NBA Finals
New Jersey 2002–03 82 49 33 .598 1st in Atlantic 20 14 6 .700 Lost in NBA Finals
New Jersey 2003–04 42 22 20 .524 (fired)
New Orleans 2004–05 82 18 64 .220 5th in Southwest Missed Playoffs
New Orleans 2005–06 82 38 44 .463 4th in Southwest Missed Playoffs
New Orleans 2006–07 82 39 43 .476 4th in Southwest Missed Playoffs
New Orleans 2007–08 82 56 26 .683 1st in Southwest 12 7 5 .583 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
New Orleans 2008–09 82 49 33 .598 4th in Southwest 5 1 4 .200 Lost in First Round
New Orleans 2009–10 9 3 6 .333 (fired)
Cleveland 2010–11 82 19 63 .232 5th in Central Missed Playoffs
Cleveland 2011–12 66 21 45 .318 5th in Central Missed Playoffs
Cleveland 2012–13 82 24 58 .293 5th in Central Missed Playoffs
Career 937 416 521 .444 57 33 24 .579

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Agent: Byron Scott, Cavs Agree to Terms
  2. ^ Byron Anton Scott (PANATHINAIKOS BSA ATHENS).
  3. ^ Thorn said no demands were ever made - espnW
  4. ^ Bondy, Filip. "VISITORS ARE FEELING RIGHT AT HOME IN JERSEY", Daily News (New York), May 25, 2003. Accessed February 24, 2011. "'I've learned everything I need to know about New Jersey,' said Scott, who resides in Livingston during the season. 'You take 280 to the 'Pike to the arena.'"
  5. ^ Game 4 scoreboard
  6. ^ Game 4 Recap
  7. ^ "New Orleans Hornets fire coach Byron Scott". November 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  8. ^ "Agent says Scott accepts Cavs offer". July 2, 2010. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  9. ^ Cleveland Cavaliers exercise contract option on Byron Scott - NBA - Sporting News
  10. ^ Cleveland Cavaliers fire coach Byron Scott
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links[edit]