Cleveland Cavs fire head coach Byron Scott after three seasons

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired head coach Byron Scott after three seasons in the post-LeBron James era.

The team announced the move Thursday morning just before noon.

"I have tremendous respect for Byron professionally and a great deal of admiration for him personally. At the same time, it is critical for where we are as a team to ensure that we capitalize on every opportunity for development and success and we have fallen short of that on the court," said Cavs General Manager Chris Grant in a news release. "I believe we needed to make this change in order to get to a better position to achieve our goals. I know I speak on behalf of the entire Cavs organization and the Cleveland community, in thanking Byron for his three years here and his hard work and many contributions on and off the court. We wish Bryon and his wife, Anita, the best."

Scott thanked the Cavs for the opportunity to coach the team.

"Anita and I have enjoyed our time here in Cleveland and greatly appreciate the support we received from this special community and the many friendships we developed. I am certainly proud of the progress that many of our players have made and greatly appreciate the dedication of my coaches and our team in our efforts to attain the success we all desired," said Scott.

Byron Scott walked by LeBron James in Akron before the former Cavalier made "The Decision." They said "Hi" but that was it during the chance meeting at the University of Akron. It was clear change was on the way.

Scott was hired and was coming to Cleveland no matter what James was going to do. James's departure created an almost impossible task for Scott.

The impact of "The Decision" still is lingering on the team's roster. Now, Scott is gone, no longer fighting the impossible battle of trying to build a team in a city where the draft is everything.

During Scott's first season in Cleveland, the team was handcuffed in the free-agent market because James was last, big-name free agent to sign in the summer of 2010.

In Scott's three seasons, the Cavs never owned more than 25 wins in a season. His final record in Cleveland is 64-166 and included a lockout-shortened second season.  

Scott was the benefactor of the first pick overall in 2011 draft, when the team selected Kyrie Irving. The future seemed to be born. 

But, Irving was often injured. Fans will be left wondering if the team was in no hurry to bring him back from injuries. This season, Scott had his three top players, Irving, Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters, for 11 games on the floor. 

That left Scott with a young team. A young team that did young things, like slack on defense and give up 20 point leads. They accomplished that four times this season alone, including a 27-point meltdown to Miami.

On Scott's resume will linger a 26-game losing streak, which is the longest in NBA history, in 2011.

Scott expected more from his players. Now, the Cavs have plenty of salary cap room, plenty of draft picks and plenty questions about a team still trying to figure things out in the post-LeBron world.

Scott is gone. Who is next? Let the speculation begin.

Former Michigan State standout and former NBA coach Scott Skiles sounds like a Dan Gilbert winner. Perhaps former Portland and Seattle head coach Nate McMillan or former Mike Brown assistant coach Michael Malone, who could make his way back. Malone is an assistant in Golden State.

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