Byron Scott was fired as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday morning, according to a report from Jason Lloyd of the Akron-Beacon Journal.
The news comes less than 24 hours after the Cavs wrapped up their season with a 105-98 loss on the road to the Charlotte Bobcats, a team that finished the season second only to the Orlando Magic for the worst record in the NBA. The Cavs, 24-58, weren’t much better, finishing the season with the third worst record in the league.
In his three seasons as coach of the Cavs, Scott finished with a 64-166 record, making him the coach with the lowest winning percentage in Cavaliers franchise history (.278).
According to the report, team owner Dan Gilbert had been unhappy with the lack of defensive improvement the team has made since hiring Scott days before LeBron James would take his talents to South Beach. The team finished last in the league this season in defensive field-goal percentage (47 percent) and never ranked better than 27th in the NBA during Scotts tenure. Two of the Cavs' most crushing losses came this season when the team blew a 26-point lead to the Phoenix Suns and then squandered a 27-point loss to the heavily favored Miami Heat. The losses were the biggest blowouts in franchise history.
The Cavs spent most of the season without Anderson Varejao, who had a blood clot in January that forced him to end his season early. At the time, Varejao was averaging 14.4 rebounds per game. Reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving also missed significant time this season, sitting out nearly two dozen games because of various injuries, mostly because of shoulder and knee issues. According to the report, a player on the team was anonymously quoted in the final weeks of the season saying Irving wouldn't be crushed if Scott was fired:
“They’re close, but they’re not attached at the hip. I don’t think Kyrie would be really crushed or anything if he was fired.”