01-26-2004, 12:48 PM
Blue Crack Distributor
Join Date: Jul 2000
Local Time: 12:54 PM
Nets fired Byron Scott after 2 straight Eastern Conference Titles
This is an absolute disgrace... two straight trips to the NBA Finals... has his team in first place in their division, which would earn them a 2 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs (division winners are automaticly 1-2 despite overall record)... and he's fired just because Jason Kidd doesn't like him.
Nets coach Byron Scott, one year removed from taking New Jersey on a second consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, has been fired, league sources have told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
The Nets are expected to announce the move at a 2 p.m. ET news conference. Assistant coach Lawrence Frank will be named interim coach, Stein reports. New Jersey practices as usual at 1 ET today and Frank is expected to coach the session.
The Nets, an unspectacular 22-20 with the All-Star break approaching, lead the 22-24 Celtics by two games in the Atlantic Division but have only the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference. According to sources, the game that sealed Scott's fate was Friday's loss at 18-26 Miami, in which the Nets were routed 85-64.
Scott wasn't around for the final 14 minutes Sunday of what turned out to be his final game as New Jersey's coach -- a 110-91 victory over Boston that halted a five-game losing streak. He was ejected late in the third quarter by referee Luis Grillo for saying something that earned a one-technical ejection. Frank finished up.
The last year of Scott's four-year deal was to pay him between $2.6 million and $3 million.
Scott was not given a contract extension despite leading the Nets to back-to-back Finals appearances. His status was made even more tenuous by persistent reports that he lacked the support of star guard Jason Kidd, who berated Scott after an embarrassing 110-63 loss in Memphis on Dec. 13.
Scott was ejected during the third quarter of Sunday's 110-91 victory over the Boston Celtics, which ended a five-game losing streak and kept New Jersey (22-20) from dropping to .500.
Kidd, and forward Kenyon Martin, also took issue with Scott's coaching moves during last year's Finals, including how the coach used former Net Dikembe Mutombo against San Antonio and his reluctance to call for double teams on center/Finals MVP Tim Duncan.
In the series' decisive Game 6, the Spurs went on a 19-0 second-half run that ultimately finished New Jersey.
In the offseason, Kidd was being hotly pursued in free agency by the Spurs, and there were reports claiming that Kidd would not consider re-signing with the Nets unless Scott was fired. Despite their differences, Kidd re-signed with New Jersey for $103 million over six years.
On Friday, the Nets were officially sold to Brooklyn developer Bruce Ratner, who is intent on moving the Nets across the Hudson River to the borough. The rest of the NBA owners must approve the deal as well.
Scott holds the franchise record with 149 coaching victories. After a 25-56 record in his first season, the Nets went 52-30 in 2001-02 and 49-33 in 2002-03 -- losing to the Lakers and the Spurs in the finals.
Scott's dismissal brought to 16 the number of head coach jobs that have turned over since the 2002-03 season. Two weeks ago, the Knicks fired Don Chaney and replaced him Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens.