So the NBA season still in its infancy, and already it has had its first managerial casualty. Put your hands up if you thought that the New Orleans Hornets’ Byron Scott would’ve been that first casualty ? C’mon now, raise your hands I can’t see them ? Well, surprise, that’s definitely what has happened. Much to the surprise no doubt, to the Hornets’ fans and quite possibly the team’s All Star point guard Chris Paul. Now don’t get me wrong , I love Byron Scott and I believe him to be one of the better coaches in the NBA ! But how the hell can he not get the best out of this team which has a very good nucleus of players and if anything one the league’s elite players in Chris Paul ? Am I missing something here ?
Now to make matters worse for the team, they will be without Chris Paul for anywhere up to two weeks. At 3-8 , having lost three straight games and with their last defeat being a rather lopsided loss to the Atlanta Hawks, 121-98. And with GM, Jeff Bower having assumed the reins, as coach of the team , on what is believed to be an interim basis. No one is quite sure what to make of the situation and what led to Scott’s abrupt firing and departure. Needless to say, that there’ll be a great deal of speculation as to what may well have went on, with regards to the action taken by Bower. Meanwhile,the task ahead for Bower and his assistants is to get the players, playing with a sense of urgency and more consistency. And that has obviously now been made a great deal harder with the loss of Paul, due to an injury. As he’s was viewed as the leader vocally , both on and off the field of play.
And things aren’t going to get any better for the Hornets in wake of what has transpired. In the Southwest Division of the Western Conference, they’ll have to deal with the likes of the Dallas Mavericks (6-3), Houston Rockets (5-4), San Antonio Spurs (4-4) and the ailing Memphis Grizzlies (2-8). Any respite that the team thought it might have , has been clouded in the aftermath of this internal upheaval. And with each of the teams in question having made significant changes to their player personnel. The thought that this might be the year for the Hornets to do something significant may well have to be reviewed.
Courtesy of NBA.com
Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower to serve as Head Coach
November 12, 2009
The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have relieved Byron Scott of head coaching duties. Scott will be replaced by General Manager Jeff Bower.
“I want to thank Byron for the hard work he has put in during his time with the Hornets,” said Hornets Owner George Shinn. “I’ve hired Jeff Bower to take over the coaching reign. He knows this team better than anyone, has the respect of the players and in basketball circles, is regarded as one of the best basketball minds in the business. This is our best opportunity to reach our goals this season.”
Bower, who has spent his 14-plus seasons with the club, has been an invaluable asset for the Hornets at all levels in basketball operations. He began his tenure with the Hornets as an advance scout from 1995 to 1997 before earning a promotion as the team’s director of scouting. In addition to his scouting duties during the 1998-99 season, Bower joined the coaching ranks as an assistant after Paul Silas was named interim head coach on March 7, 1999 (and helped him lead the Hornets to a 22-13 record). After serving as the assistant general manager for the 2000-01 season, Bower was promoted to general manager in June of 2001 and has since held that position. He returned to the bench as an assistant coach under Floyd in 2003-04. Bower’s years of experience working at all levels in the Hornets’ basketball operations department culminated with his appointment to the current post of general manager just prior to the start of the team’s 2005-06 training
Click on the above link to read article in its entirety
Bower for his part, does have within his midst the experience of assistant coach,Tim Floyd,to fall back on. And with Floyd’s experience as a coach within the NBA , as well as at the collegiate level. It may augur well for the self installed novice coach. But that would of course be predicated upon Floyd being able to provide the much needed analysis and communicative presence to get his points across to Bower and the players alike. And based on what has transpired with Floyd on his previous foray into the NBA with the Chicago Bulls. I’ve a feeling that things might not go the way he or Bower might anticipate.
Certainly I’ve misplaced feelings about this all. As Byron Scott was the coach who brought along and nurtured the talents of Chris Paul. And it was also under his watch that David West also became an All Star in the NBA. All of a sudden, overnight, Byron Scott can’t have become the worse head coach in the NBA ? He’s had the privilege of leading the New Jersey Nets to consecutive Eastern Conference Championships and the on to consecutive NBA Finals, where upon, his teams would lose firstly to the Los Angeles Lakers, (2001-02) 4-0. And then the following season they would lose to the San Antonio Spurs, (2002-03) 4-2. On both occasions Byron Scott’s teams gave a spirited account of themselves. Albeit, that the sweep at the hands of the Lakers, came on the final leg of a hree-peat under the watchful eye of their coach, Phil Jackson .
And though this scenario may well seem far fetched. I’ve no doubt in my mind that Byron Scott will resume a coaching career in the NBA ! If the rumors are to be believed and that this could very well be Phil Jackson’s last years as a coach in the NBA . Then who better to assume the reins as his successor there in Los Angeles ?
Byron Scott as a former player with the team and a winner of multiple titles with them also. He’d essentially be the perfect fit for the team. The Lakers’ coaching staff as it is , it is bereft of someone with the same level of experience as a coach based upon the level attained by Byron Scott.Whether or not Mitch Kupchak, as general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers and the team’s owner, Dr. Jerry Buss would be amenable to such a hire, would no doubt be predicated upon the thoughts of Jackson, himself.
The fate now awaiting the New Orleans Hornets seems an uncertain one. I’d like to think also that Bowers’ action wasn’t a rash rush to judgment in getting rid of Scott. It’s tough enough for Jeff Bowers as he tries to maneuver through the terrain of the NBA as a novice coach. But it’s even far more daunting a prospect, if you’re doing that without your best player and vocal leader being on the court.
As one tries to look over the situation and review what transpired. You can’t help but wonder how much of this was in part due to Byron Scott ? And how much of this was due in no part to the players who were unable to follow the lead of their coach ? And it would be remiss , if not in part to question the action of Jeff Bower. At this stage of the season which is still in its infancy. One would’ve thought it best to keep Byron Scott on board and let him try and turn things around. Instead the scenario is now being created , that if things do get much worse.It could very well place the franchise in an irretrievable situation.And that’s something that no one within the Hornets’ organization, I fear would be willing to contemplate.
New Orleans Hornets’ roster 2009-10
NUM PLAYER POS HT WT DOB FROM YRS
12 Hilton Armstrong C-F 6-11 235 11/11/1984 Connecticut 3
6 Bobby Brown G 6-2 175 09/24/1984 Cal State-Fullerton 1
23 Devin Brown G 6-5 210 12/30/1978 Texas-San Antonio 7
2 Darren Collison G 6-0 160 08/23/1987 UCLA R
1 Ike Diogu F 6-9 250 09/11/1983 Arizona State 4
4 Sean Marks F-C 6-10 250 08/23/1975 California 9
50 Emeka Okafor F-C 6-10 255 09/28/1982 Connecticut 5
3 Chris Paul G 6-0 175 05/06/1985 Wake Forest 4
24 Morris Peterson G 6-7 220 08/26/1977 Michigan State 9
41 James Posey F 6-8 217 01/13/1977 Xavier (Ohio) 10
9 Darius Songaila F 6-9 248 02/14/1978 Wake Forest 6
16 Peja Stojakovic F 6-10 229 06/09/1977 Belgrade, Serbia 11
5 Marcus Thornton G 6-4 205 06/05/1987 Louisiana State R
30 David West F 6-9 240 08/29/1980 Xavier (Ohio) 6
32 Julian Wright F 6-8 225 05/20/1987 Kansas 2