Byron Scott will be named the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ coach on Thursday, according to a source close to the situation.
The Cavaliers and Scott are finishing the details of a contract that could make him LeBron James’next coach.
Scott’s agent, Brian McInerney, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that Scott has agreed to become Cleveland’s next coach. A news conference is scheduled for Friday.
Cleveland decided on the 49-year-old Scott after strongly considering Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who impressed the Cavaliers during interviews earlier this week.
This would be the third head-coaching job for Scott, who led the New Jersey Nets to consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003.
Scott, who coached the Nets from 2001 to 2004, was named Coach of the Year in 2008 after leading the New Orleans Hornets to a surprising 56-win season. He coached the Hornets from 2004 to 2010 and has a 352-355 career record.
Of course, Scott does not know what kind of team he will end up leading. If James re-signs with the Cavaliers, he could have an Eastern Conference contender on his hands. If James goes elsewhere, Cleveland will be in a rebuilding effort similar to the ones he took over in New Jersey and New Orleans.
It is the experiences Scott had in rebuilding those franchises that led him to maintain interest in the Cavaliers’ job without assurances that James would return.
In terms of re-signing James, the hiring of Scott would work in Cleveland’s favor. James reportedly wants to play for a former player, and Scott was that and then some.
A 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Scott played 14 years in the NBA, winning three championships in his 11 seasons with the Lakers. He teamed with some of the greatest players of all time, including Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and, in Scott’s final season, Kobe Bryant.
Scott has maintained a great relationship with Bryant, which is emblematic of another reason he won over the Cavs: his ability to build strong relationships with superstars.
In New Jersey, Scott had a good relationship with Jason Kidd, though Kidd soured on Scott’s coaching toward the end of his tenure with the team. And in New Orleans, Scott was close withChris Paul, one of James’ best friends.
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