Byron Scott

Byron Scott has “no regrets” about taking Cleveland job

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Things haven’t gone so well for Byron Scott this year. He took over as head coach of the Cavaliers with no knowledge of whether or not LeBron James was going to return to the team, but he was confident that he could have success whether James stayed or left. LeBron left, of course, and the Cavalier wins never came. After a semi-promising start, the Cavs have won one game since November 27th, and they needed overtime to get that one win.

The Cavs were the worst team in basketball before their recent slew of injuries; having Anderson Varejao, Anthony Parker, Leon Powe, and Daniel Gibson hurt will only make Cleveland’s nightmare season worse. Given that Scott has long been rumored to be a candidate to take over for Phil Jackson as head coach of the Lakers when he retires, one could think that Scott regrets his decision to take the Cleveland job. However, as the Cavs got ready to take on the Lakers on Tuesday night, Scott was adamant that he still believes he made the right decision.

“My decision wasn’t based on what [LeBron James] was going to do, it was based on what I thought we had at that point,” Scott said. “Do I regret that decision? By no means. I tell you, the organization is top of the line. Dan Gilbert is unbelievable. Working with Chris Grant has been unbelievable. It’s like a family here. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of being [in Los Angeles]. I know that we can turn this thing back around, and I like I told Chris the other day, it will make it that much more gratifying. Because we’ve gone through this, we’re going through this. That’s how I look at everything. The glass is half-full as far as I’m concerned. We’re going to be right back up at the top soon.”

Scott’s optimism is probably what the Cavaliers need right now — the Cavs won’t make the playoffs this year, or come close to it, but fortunes can change quickly in the NBA on a year-to-year basis. If the Cavs rebuild with patience, draft well, and get a few lucky breaks, they could make Scott’s optimistic view into a realistic one over the next couple of years. However, getting a win in 2011 would probably benefit the team’s confidence more than any declarations from their coach would — we’ll see when the Cavaliers can pull of that feat.

Report: Some Hawks executives doubt Danny Ferry’s contrition

Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer
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Since his racist comments about Luol Deng, Danny Ferry has mostly avoided the public eye.

He apologized through a couple statements released around the beginning of his leave of absence. He met with black community leaders. He claimed “full responsibility.”

A cadre of NBA people vouched for him. A law firm the Hawks hired to investigate themselves essentially cleared of him of being motivated by racial bias.

But there’s another side.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ferry’s efforts at contrition sometimes fell short to some inside the organization. Several Hawks executives were at times put off by Ferry’s behavior during a compulsory two-day sensitive training session, especially since they considered his actions triggered the assembly in the first place. He came across as inattentive and dismissive of the exercise, some said, and fiddled with his phone quite a bit. Ferry contends he was taking notes on the meeting.

“It was awkward for everyone because I had not seen or been around Hawks employees for three months,” Ferry told ESPN this summer about the sensitivity training. “I took the seminar seriously, participated in the role-play exercises and certainly learned from the two-day session.”

the Hawks satisfied Ferry on June 22 by releasing both the written Taylor report and a flowery press release in which Hawks CEO Koonin was quoted saying, among other things, that “Danny Ferry is not a racist.” Some Hawks executives grumbled that the team overreached in exonerating Ferry, but doing so — not to mention paying Ferry significantly more than the $9 million he was owed on his “golden ticket” deal — was the cost of moving on.

I don’t know whether Ferry has shown the proper level of contrition, whether he was playing on his phone or taking notes.

But I know what he said:

“He’s a good guy overall, but he’s got some African in him, and I don’t say that in a bad way other than he’s a guy that may be making side deals behind you, if that makes sense. He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”

He was not reading directly from a scouting report. He did not stop when his paraphrasing repeated a racist trope.

That’s a problem.

I don’t think Ferry intended to say something racist – but he did.

It’s a fixable issue, though. Through introspection and a desire to change, he can learn from this mistake. Maybe he already has.

That some around him don’t think he took that process seriously is worth noting. They might be off base, and Ferry obviously disagrees with their perception. But this is a two-sided story despite the common narrative focusing on Ferry’s redemption.

It’ll be up to any potential future employers to sort through the discrepancies.

Gilbert Arenas: Caron Butler’s version of gun incident ‘false’

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Caron Butler recently detailed the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton gun incident.

In a since-deleted – but screenshot-captured – Instagram post, Arenas gives his description:

The biggest differences between Butler’s and Arenas’ versions:

1. Arenas claims he wasn’t the one who owed Crittenton money, that the feud escalated over Arenas prematurely showing his hand during a card game.

2. Arenas says he told Crittenton to pick a gun to shoot Arenas with – not to pick a gun he’d get shot by Arenas with.