College - Arizona State
Byron Scott was named the 18th head coach in Cleveland Cavaliers history on July 1, 2010. Scott, 50, has over 26 years of NBA experience, including 14 seasons as a player, 10 and a half seasons as an NBA head coach and two seasons as an assistant coach.
In his 14-year playing career, he played a key role in helping the Los Angeles Lakers win three NBA Championships (1985, 1987, and 1988) and as a coach, led the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003.
As a head coach in the NBA, he has totaled a 371-418 (.470) regular season record and a 33-24 (.579) postseason record. Prior to joining the Cavaliers before the 2010-11 season, he had served as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets from the beginning of the 2003-04 season through the first nine games of the 2009-10 season, accumulating a 203-216 (.484) regular season record and a 8-9 (.471) postseason record during his tenure.
During the 2007-08 season, he guided the Hornets to a franchise-record 56 wins during the regular season, an improvement of 17 games from the 2006-07 season, and an appearance in the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2008 NBA Playoffs. Scott was named the recipient of the Red Auerbach trophy as the 2007-08 NBA Coach of the Year and during the season, earned the honor of becoming head coach of the Western Conference All-Star Team, making him one of just six coaches to earn the honor for both conferences. Scott was also named Western Conference Coach of the Month for January, making him just the eighth coach in NBA history to earn Coach of the Month honors in both conferences.
Scott followed the 2007-08 campaign by leading the Hornets back to the playoffs in 2008-09 and to 49 regular season wins. In his second season with the Hornets during the 2005-06 season, he helped lead the Hornets to a 38-44 (.463) record, a 20-game win improvement from his first season in New Orleans, despite Hurricane Katrina displacing the team from New Orleans and playing in four different home arenas throughout the season. The 20-game turnaround was the NBA’s best that season and earned him a top-five finish in the NBA’s Coach of the Year balloting that season.
Prior to his stint in New Orleans, Scott led the New Jersey Nets to the most successful run in franchise history as head coach. In his first season in 2000-01, he spearheaded a rebuilding New Jersey team to a 26-56 (.317) record before guiding them to a franchise-high and Eastern Conference best 52-30 (.634) record and their first-ever trip to the NBA Finals in 2001-02. The 26-win improvement marked the sixth-largest in NBA history and the team won its first Atlantic Division title, earning Scott head coaching honors for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team during the 2002 All-Star Game. The following season in 2002-03, he guided the Nets back to the Finals after winning a second consecutive Atlantic Division title and 49 games during the regular season.
Scott served as an assistant coach under current Houston Rockets Head Coach Rick Adelman for two seasons (1998-2000) with the Sacramento Kings before joining the Nets. In his two-year stint in Sacramento, the Kings posted their first back-to-back winning seasons (27-23 and 44-38) in 20 years.
Prior to his successful coaching career, the Inglewood, CA native enjoyed an outstanding NBA playing career. Selected in the first round of the 1983 NBA Draft (4th overall) by the San Diego Clippers, Scott played 14 seasons with three different teams (the Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers and Vancouver Grizzlies), winning three NBA titles (1985, 1987 and 1988) as an integral starter on the Lakers ‘Showtime’ era teams. In 1,073 games (717 starts), the 6-4 guard averaged 14.1 points on .482 shooting, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 28.1 minutes per game. In 183 postseason games (122 starts), he posted career averages of 13.4 points on .482 shooting, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 29.3 minutes per game. A consummate winner, Scott experienced only two losing seasons as a player as his teams reached the playoffs in 13 of his 14 seasons. His 183 career playoff games ranks 11th all-time in NBA history. After retiring from the NBA, Scott played one season overseas (1997-98), winning a championship for Pananthinaikos in Greece before moving onto coaching.
Scott attended Arizona State, where he finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,752 points. As a senior, he was named First Team All-Pac 10 after averaging 21.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He is a member of Arizona State University’s Hall of Fame and was Arizona State’s first inductee into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor in 2002. On Feb. 17, 2011, Scott had his jersey retired at Arizona State.
After his playing career, Scott continued to broaden his résumé during the 2003-04 season when he served as a studio analyst for ABC’s NBA telecasts and during the 2009-10 season, he was an analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the NBA. Off the court, his non-profit organization, The Byron Scott Children’s Fund, has raised more than $6 million over the past decade, with the proceeds going to various children’s charities.
He and his wife, Anita, have three children: Thomas, LonDen and DaRon.