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Byron Scott says he doesn't regret taking Cleveland coaching job

Plenty of external factors stood as a backdrop as Byron Scott interviewed with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the head coaching position.

LeBron James was just approaching free agency, and it remained unclear at the time where he would take his talents. Likewise, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson remained undecided about his coaching future, mulling whether the taxing fatigue and health concerns would be too much to find the lure of three-peating for a fourth time in his career not worth it.

Rather than hinge his decision on what others might do for their future, however, Scott figured it'd be best to make sure he secures his.

"I can't think about what's going to happen in the next two or three years to be honest with you," Scott said. "I couldn't think about (next 12 months either). With what was happening at that particular point, I wanted to take what was the best opportunity, which I still think is, when I started having conversations with Cleveland, I thought that was a great opportunity and great job. I thought so no matter what LeBron was going to do. I'm still very happy about my decision. I'm loving it down here in Cleveland, the fans have been great and organization has been great. That's the bottom line."

As he stood in the hallway outside the Cavaliers' locker room, it's clear Scott's determined attitude has kept him afloat. It'd be only hours before the Lakers beat Cleveland, 112-57, in nearly every facet of the game, dropping  the Cavs'  record to an Eastern-Conference worst 8-30 record and marking their 21st loss in the past 22 games. It certainly doesn't help that he has seven players on the injured-reserve list including a season-ending right ankle injury to star player Anderson Varejao. It also doesn't help that the Cavaliers lost James, Shaquille O’Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Delonte West during free agency. Yet, Scott shared with reporters a bold prediction on what he envisions as a suitable timetable before Cleveland becomes contenders again.

"As far as I'm concerned, next year," said Scott, who led the New Jersey Nets in back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003 in just his second and third seasons and earned NBA Coach of the Year for leading the New Orleans Hornets to franchise record 56 regular-season wins in the 2007-2008 season. "Once the year is over, next year we're going to obviously make changes to our roster. We got to add some pieces to it. That's how I look at it."

That doesn't mean Scott still doesn't wax nostalgia about the Lakers, whom he helped lead to three NBA championships during the Showtime area. Lakers spokesman John Black approached him in the Cavaliers' locker room 90 minutes before tipoff asking if he needed any extra ticket requests (he politely declined saying he didn't want to worry about it). He reflected on mentoring Kobe Bryant his rookie season, adding that Bryant's willingness to arrive at the Forum at 9 a.m. gave him an indication he'd be the league's best player ("He used to always ask me what it was like in the '80s to play. I told him, 'You would've loved it' because of the type of player he is. The only problem is I probably would've been coming off the bench because he would've been starting"). And he made a bold prediction about the Lakers that will make fans happy ("They're still the team to beat.")

Scott's passion for the Cleveland job also doesn't mean he didn't express interest in the Lakers. In her book, Laker Girl," executive vice president Jeanie Buss reveals that Scott sat in Jerry Buss' suite Jan 5, 2010 nearly two months after the Hornets fired him following a 3-6 start. At the time, Jackson's standing among the organization remained uncertain and Jeanie didn't exactly sound thrilled with learning about the situation through the media.

“I’m a big fan of Byron’s," Jeanie wrote in her book, "but I can’t see him bringing him in for next season because that would mean a radical shift to a whole new offense since he doesn’t run the triangle. Byron likes to use the Princeton offense.”

Scott seconded that notion to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears when he shared uncertainty on how much the Lakers were interested in him. But instead of lamenting on what could've been, Scott is embracing the challenge.

"The thing I like about these guys is they just fight everyday," said Scott, who also told Spears he has a three-year deal without an out clause. "They wake up in the morning, have a great attitude in practice and keep working. Obviously we're better young right now. These young guys are getting valuable experience. The wins haven't been there like I wanted it to be, but I'm still having a lot of fun teaching these guys, really trying to make them understand to be in this league and important it is for them to get better each and every day."

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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***************************
MAMBA24 AND UTZ BANDWAGON*
****************************

Mamba24......... It's time for you and Utz to come back and celebrate with your
Lakerholic friends!!! You've been gone tooo long. Posted by: New Mexico LL | January 12, 2011 at 07:36 AM

I agree 1000%. Posted by: LRob | January 12, 2011 at 09:00 AM

I also agree. Mamba24 & utz both need to come back asap. BUT - lew - you gotta keep forging ahead until they do. I know I'm appreciating your efforts, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Posted by: justanothermambafan | January 12, 2011 at 09:09 AM

@MAMBA24 & UTZWORLD...Come on Larry and Chris. Get your butts back here on the blog. We need you to celebrate this team finally coming together this year. Forget any slights and put on your purple and gold glasses and join us for this season for the ages...Posted by: LakerTom | January 12, 2011 at 09:20 AM

LEW, Until Mamba24 returns, keep doing what you doing Posted by: LAL_Fan | January 12, 2011 at 09:21 AM

@UTZ . . .Blessings of health on you and your family. Also praying your busy move goes well. Posted by: LakerMike | January 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

@MAMBA24 . . .Thanks for everything! Posted by: LakerMike | January 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Mamba24: I don't know what happened while I was away from the blog, but I miss seeing you here. I hope you come back soon. Posted by: The Outlaw | January 12, 2011 at 10:12 Am

@Utz – Good to hear from you. Love the “real talk” comment :-) Posted by: LRob | January 12, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Come back, Utz and Mamba24!!!!!!! Posted by: Magic Phil | January 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM

mamba24, click here and you'll come back:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVzDtQYod34

yes, yes, yes....

Many of you have made requests for a game day prayer. Your wish is my command. As I do not want to offend anyone of certain faiths, I have included several divine beings from the skies above.

Now let us pray.

Dear God, Jesus, Allah, Vishnu, Zeus, Ra, The Golden Calf, Buddha, The Alien Greys, The Reptilians, and Sam Cassell,

We ask that you use your divine powers to grant us, not world peace, not the end of world hunger, not even the destruction of the TV show, Jersey Shore. We ask only for a Laker victory. We know you don't concern yourself with resolving such petty issues as world peace and poverty, as these problems have existed for thousands of years, and have yet to be resolved. We do know that you care about the Lakers, as you have blessed them like no other, and have have granted them back to back titles. We pray for another Laker victory tonight for your favorite team. You may hear similar prayers coming out of Northern California asking for a Warriors victory, but I beg of you, oh divine one, ignore their silly prayers, and listen only to ours. We thank you in advance.

Can I get an Amen?

LOL, Hilarious! My thanks to the Temp. Nicely done.

I wish Byron the best. Gilbert is dedicated to winning and Byron is a winner. Once they upgrade their roster they'll be competitive again. I questioned the competitive spirit of Jamison and Mo Williams after their comments over the summer...and their comments after yesterday's game still don't show a fighting mentality.

Interesting article on the Lebron - Gilbert situation...and Lebron's latest tweet about Karma.


http://www.cleveland.com/dsn/index.ssf/2011/01/blame_for_lebrons_karma_tweet_is_misdirected.html

Mamba,

This one's for you. You are missed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSXyW8XDa6E

UTZ- Nice to see your handle, Peace and Blessings my Brother.

Mamba24- You're vacation is over, it's time you get you're @ss back to work.

That was one of the best prayers yet! Not bad for a "stand-in," not bad at all... AMEN!!

Byron will be fine. He's getting great experience by have to coach his @$$ off and he has a job in the NBAS. If his players do not have the "I know it all" attitude, it's an opportunity to play b@lls out and a great learning experience for them as well.

As far as LBJ is concerned, I was one of his biggest fans. There's no denying that he's a prodigy but after he tossed the race card into the picture, I did not want to take my time to follow his career. Not that he cares, mind you but I was in his corner even after his dreadful "Decision" on air because I know that he's that good. The kid - in my opinion - is the MVP and to my dismay, he will win a ring or two, just not this season.

I'm a fan of the NBA and the Lakers are obviously my favorite team. It's criminal not to appreciate the other great teams and players in this league but because of LBJ, I do not want the Heat to win anything. I guess I'm just as much a kid as LBJ. Oh well.

Game Day - EXCELLENT GDP...AMEN Brother!!

This was written:

It is a bygone conclusion that Bynum's length alone is a major deterrent and couple that with true talent and voila!! As good as Theo was and can be defensively at this stage in his career but he sure does not possess Bynum's attributes, period!!

my response: so ... maybe you should go back and look at the box scores
for the last two years. I can continually point to games where his length
was *NOT* a deterrent & his talent was not an issue because he was
engaged in playing defense.

What is the matter with you? When the coach says, we need to play better
defense and every member on the team says we need to play better defense
& a coach specifically tweeks the defense ... y'all continue to come back and
say's it's not a commitment to defense. It's his mere presence on the court.

Tell me, if his shadow passes over you ... will you win the lotto?

The next thing you know, one of you is going to go steal a pair of his dirty
underwear and use it as a good luck charm. And that's just nasty!

If the coach tells you we changed the defense, then I suggest you believe the
coach.

sorry. this: I can continually point to games where his length
was *NOT* a deterrent & his talent was not an issue because he was
engaged in playing defense.

should have been this: I can continually point to games where his length
was *NOT* a deterrent & his talent was not an issue because he was
*NOT* engaged in playing defense.

********************************************************
MAMBA24 AND UTZ BANDWAGON - PLEASE COME BACK!
********************************************************

Mamba24......... It's time for you and Utz to come back and celebrate with your Lakerholic friends!!! You've been gone tooo long. Posted by: New Mexico LL | January 12, 2011 at 07:36 AM

I agree 1000%. Posted by: LRob | January 12, 2011 at 09:00 AM

I also agree. Mamba24 & utz both need to come back asap. BUT - lew - you gotta keep forging ahead until they do. I know I'm appreciating your efforts, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Posted by: justanothermambafan | January 12, 2011 at 09:09 AM

@MAMBA24 & UTZWORLD...Come on Larry and Chris. Get your butts back here on the blog. We need you to celebrate this team finally coming together this year. Forget any slights and put on your purple and gold glasses and join us for this season for the ages...Posted by: LakerTom | January 12, 2011 at 09:20 AM

LEW, Until Mamba24 returns, keep doing what you doing Posted by: LAL_Fan | January 12, 2011 at 09:21 AM

@UTZ . . .Blessings of health on you and your family. Also praying your busy move goes well. Posted by: LakerMike | January 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

@MAMBA24 . . .Thanks for everything! Posted by: LakerMike | January 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Mamba24: I don't know what happened while I was away from the blog, but I miss seeing you here. I hope you come back soon. Posted by: The Outlaw | January 12, 2011 at 10:12 Am

@Utz – Good to hear from you. Love the “real talk” comment :-) Posted by: LRob | January 12, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Come back, Utz and Mamba24!!!!!!! Posted by: Magic Phil | January 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM

mamba24, click here and you'll come back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVzDtQYod34 yes, yes, yes....Posted by: Magic Phil | January 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Mamba, This one's for you. You are missed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSXyW8XDa6E Posted by: LRob | January 12, 2011 at 12:00 PM

UTZ- Nice to see your handle, Peace and Blessings my Brother. Mamba24- You're vacation is over, it's time you get you're @ss back to work. Posted by: 2PHATT | January 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM

and just so we're clear about things ....

At the start of the season, when Bynum wasn't playing and Ratliff was ...

The Lakers won how many games? 14 wins and 1 loss w/ Ratliff playing.

With the rate Cleveland is going, they're in a good position to draft #1 again. They should hope not to draft a jerk this time.

Thanks for the props on the prayer.

and just so we're clear about things ....

At the start of the season, when Bynum wasn't playing and Ratliff was ...

The Lakers won how many games? 14 wins and 1 loss w/ Ratliff playing.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 12, 2011 at 12:39 PM
====

OMG! Are you serious? ARE YOU SERIOUS!

hobbit - I have to second 888's post with the same Bynum's words that got him the double tech...

Are you serious...Are you SERIOUS!!!

With all that Bynum has done...which is way more that you expected from what you have posted about him when he returns...you fall back on Theo and the Lakers had a better record?????

Is your message really saying that we are a better team with Theo than with AB...

HAHAHAHA...

Sorry, I gave you the benefit of the doubt...but there is no denying that you don't like Bynum as you have posted many time...

Do you recall: "First let me make myself clear, I never said I don't like Bynum, I do like Bynum..."

You have an odd way of showing affection to someone you like...With all of what Andrew has done in the last few games...This is what your feelings are, our record when Theo was playing...so I have to come to the conclusion that you DO NOT like Andrew Bynum, and that's fine...but please don't try to fool us with the facade...

Mamba,

This one's for you. You are missed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSXyW8XDa6E

Posted by: LRob | January 12, 2011 at 12:00 PM

NIIIIIIIIIICE!!!

my response: so ... maybe you should go back and look at the box scores
for the last two years. I can continually point to games where his length
was *NOT* a deterrent & his talent was not an issue because he was
engaged in playing defense.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 12, 2011 at 12:36 PM
====

Box scores? BOX SCORES?! I didn't know that BOX SCORES gave us statistics on altered shots or the number of times players stayed out of the paint because there was a talented 7 footer with a 7'6" wing span waiting for them. I'm sure that some of Bynum's best defensive games were when he didn't block any shots at all, similar to when a cornerback like Darrelle Rivas gets no interceptions. Why? Because players stay out of the paint when Bynum is there just like the QB doesn't throw to the wide receiver who Rivas is covering. What happened to MVP candidate Amar'e Stoudemire the other night? He was 1-10 because of Bynum's length and then Bynum turned him into a jump shooter.Yeah, I'm sure that 37 year old Theo Ratliff would have eaten Stoudemire for lunch like that. BOX SCORES!!

Let's be honest here, hobbit. You can't stand Andrew Bynum and now you are making up ISH to support your wild theories and justify your blatant dislike for him. Anybody who follows the NBA .... from fans to announcers to coaches not only marvel at Bynum's size .... but they also acknowledge his growth as a player in this league and his enormous impact on the game.

"His size is absolutely a factor," [Doc] Rivers told the Boston Globe. "I go back to that game where we played them early in the year and we didn't play well. We got to the basket a lot, but we missed all the layups. Live, I was frustrated because I thought we were missing layups and we were pressing."

"But then when you watch the video, he makes you change your shot. We had three or four of them where we were right there and we double-clutched for no reason -- other than the fact to the left of your eye he was coming. And that's what size does. Size makes you miss layups. He's done that and he also gives you a low-post scorer with Gasol. And that's made them pretty darn good."

How about giving some credit where credit is due. BOX SCORES?!

TRUTH - what's your conclusion about this...

my response: so ... maybe you should go back and look at the box scores
for the last two years. I can continually point to games where his length
was *NOT* a deterrent & his talent was not an issue because he was
engaged in playing defense.

So anyone playing defense is the reason...no attributes at all about his size advantage...so if Theo, Joe Smith or whoever isplaying and is engaged in playing defense...we would give us the same result...

You can turn and twist it...but my understanding is AB get's no love...'look at the box scores"...does that include altered shots...or not driving the paint cuz AB is there...

LMAO - 888 and I and our vitual high fives...have put us in the same thought stream...

Mamba24 come back.

and just so we're clear about things ....

At the start of the season, when Bynum wasn't playing and Ratliff was ...

The Lakers won how many games? 14 wins and 1 loss w/ Ratliff playing.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 12, 2011 at 12:39 PM

==============================
I know you have you right to your opinion but I disagree and am ROFLMAO.
Comparing Ratliff to Drew. Really??? Ratliff in no way in Drew's league. Also let me point out that the 14-1 record was with Pau and Lamar playing. Ratliff only made a fool of himself in the minutes he played. Heck he ain't even in Mbenga's league.


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