And suddenly, Byron Scott is the new coach of LeBron James. Or a team headed to the lottery. Check back in a few days for the answer.
Either way, Byron Scott is the new coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as Scott’s agent confirmed to FanHouse.
Yesterday, all signs pointed to Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw as the man. But talks stalled. Shaw’s people were leaking the “it’s done” rumor, maybe they leaped the gun. Maybe it was Shaw trying to drag the process out to see what Phil Jackson decided. Maybe it was LeBron James saying he preferred Scott.
My preferred theory: Shaw said he pulled his name out of the running because he couldn’t meet the Cavs timeline. That to me sounds like he wanted to know what LeBron was doing, and the Cavs wanted a coach who would take their LeBron or no LeBron.
But pick any reason that fell through, any could be right.
Scott brings good and bad to the table. He is a guy who has coached the New Jersey Nets to the finals. He has coached teams led by stars — Jason Kidd in his prime and Chris Paul. He has the pedigree as a player, having been part of the Showtime era Lakers.
But he also has left both teams when players turned against him. He may not be a coach whose style allows him last long with a team.
What kind of team he has depends on what LeBron James thinks of him and the other offers that come in. And that is more unpredictable than the Cavs coaching search.
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)