Byron Scott takes Cleveland Cavaliers coaching job, his agent says
Brian McInerney said in an e-mail that the sides were working through some final details but that Scott had agreed to become Cleveland's next coach -- with or without superstar LeBron James. The team is expected to announce Scott's hiring later Thursday, just as James hits the market and begins hearing offers from other teams on the first day of NBA free agency.
Scott, 49, previously coached in New Jersey and New Orleans. He won three NBA titles with the Lakers as a player and took the Nets to two finals as a coach. He was considered to be a candidate to replace Lakers Coach Phil Jackson if he retired this off-season.
Lakers assistant Brian Shaw appeared to be the favorite to replace Mike Brown, who was fired as Cleveland's coach, and as of Tuesday, Shaw was reported to be assembling a staff to bring to Cleveland.
But Shaw's agent, Jerome Stanley, said Wednesday that his client was thankful to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and General Manager Chris Grant for two days of interviews but that the process was moving too fast for Shaw to make a decision.
"Brian is withdrawing his name from the Cleveland coaching job," Stanley said in a phone interview with the Los Angeles Times. "Things were moving too fast, and the timing of everything was at a fast pace."
The Cavaliers could be better positioned to re-sign James, who has said he would like to play for a former NBA player. Scott's resume includes 14 pro seasons, 11 of those with the Lakers. As a coach, Scott took the Hornets on a surprising run to the Western Conference finals and was close with guard Chris Paul, James' best friend in the league.
The Cavaliers initially pursued Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo, who rejected a reported $30 million to stay with the Spartans.
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Byron Scott coaches the Hornets in 2008. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press.