LAS VEGAS -- His smile stretched from ear-to-ear, the kind of look often seen on the face of a coach watching his team play for the first time. Flanked by a pair of assistants, freshly minted Cleveland coach
Or is it?
The defection of
"We're in better shape than we were in New Jersey," Scott said. "A lot of these guys [in Cleveland] are used to winning. When I took over in Jersey, they weren't used to winning. We had to change the whole culture of that team and organization. That attitude is already in place here. That's not something I have to change. I just have to enhance that and keep it going."
Of course, it's not that simple. James, the two-time MVP, was the primary reason for that winning tradition. There are some talented pieces --
Scott, who signed a four-year deal last month, understands the challenge he is facing. But Scott sees the fact that he has not been part of the LeBron era as a major positive in moving forward.
"I'm coming in with fresh eyes, fresh ideas, fresh thoughts, a new system, new philosophy that will help guys move forward. And the community, as well," Scott said. "It's going to be tough. Basketball is my sanctuary. And I hope those guys feel the same. I hope a lot of those guys are looking at this as an opportunity to really show their skills. A lot of people in Cleveland won't forget about what happened. I'm detached from it because I didn't coach LeBron. I'm not emotionally attached to it. There is a lot of work to do and a lot of young guys to look at."
One of those young guys is
"I was very happy he came," Scott said. "He understands that he has to get better this year. His role is going to be bigger. I expect more from J.J. I like what I've seen. He's making a jump shot on a consistent basis and that's one of the things he had to improve on."
Regardless of who is on the roster, Scott said the Cavs' philosophy will be the same: Run, early and often.
"Turnovers, missed shots, made baskets, we're going to try to run off of all of them," he said. "Playing up and down has always been my M.O. For so many years it has been such an effective way of playing basketball. This is a team that has never been that type of team. So I'm going to have to live with some of those mistakes early. But let's make all our mistakes early. When the season starts, guys will have real good comfort zones."
"It's a way different lifestyle there," Green said. "The food was different. Living arrangements were different. In St. Petersburg, it gets dark at midnight. It's tough. You have to swallow your pride a little bit. [Russia] may not be the level of play you want to be at, but it's still basketball."
After skipping Summer League last year, Green hopes he shows enough here to earn an invitation to training camp.
"I think [my game] has progressed a lot," he said. "I'm more of a student of the game. I think I'm a lot better defensive player. Russia was an unbelievable experience, one I'll never forget, But I'm going to do everything in my power to stay."
"I've been working all summer at [point guard]," Mayo said. "Night in and night out playing guys that are a lot bigger than me and a lot stronger than me is tough. I remember a game against Charlotte [last season] where
"We're trying to get as much flexibility at that position as possible," Wallace said. "Mike Conley made a lot of progress last year. We have to come up with some new alternatives. We won't have the prototypical pure point behind Conley. We'll have more comboish guys like O.J., [rookie]
Former New Orleans coach Byron Scott knows what it feels like to be fired by owner
"My first reaction was, Wow," Scott said. "I was a little surprised about it; but then again I wasn't, if you know what I mean."