According to sources, the Cavs are planning a second interview with Byron Scott after he finishes up his duties as an analyst for ESPN during the NBA Finals.
Scott is known to be interested in the Los Angeles Lakers job if Phil Jackson does not re-sign after his contract expires this month. However, a league source said, Scott is interested in the Cavs’ job and at the prospect of coaching LeBron James.
Again, Scott doesn’t wow me but he’s a solid, solid choice. Probably a safer bet than Izzo. But not only are the Cavs waiting on one LeBron James, they’re also waiting on the Zen Master, Phil Jackson:
The Cavs getting Scott is no certainty, either. Scott won three championships with the Lakers and lives in California. Working as an ESPN analyst, Scott is also taking care of his elderly parents as he waits for the Lakers’ situation to play out. Both Scott and Gilbert had time on their hands if Gilbert was willing to hop on his corporate jet for Los Angeles or Boston, but they have yet to meet. The Cavaliers reportedly have talked to Scott only by telephone.
As the Boston Celtics face the Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals tonight, the question also looms whether Gilbert jumped the gun in his housecleaning. Granted, James and Brown seemed to have had a falling out as the season ended in the Eastern Conference semifinals. But with the Celtics one victory from a second title in three years, losing to them doesn’t seem nearly as unsettling today as it did May 13. One can only wonder if it feels that way to James.
Izzo called Gilbert ”one of the classiest guys I’ve ever met” as he put his NBA aspirations behind him. But in the aftermath of Izzo’s rejection, Gilbert seems more like a meddler on a power trip than ever before. To salvage his big splash now, he needs to land Scott or Jackson, if the Lakers decide to slash the Zen Master’s reported $12 million-a-year salary.
In an ESPN 850 radio poll on Monday asking which Cleveland team had the best owner, several callers chose Randy Lerner of the Browns, citing his better-late-than-never decision to hire Mike Holmgren to run the show. Program host Michael Reghi thought Gilbert would have been the people’s choice in a slam dunk.
I can certainly understand feeling that the Cavs jumped the gun in firing Brown (with regards to the Celtics being a win away from the title) but he really had to go. It wasn’t just that the Cavs lost to the Celtics, it’s how they lost. The fact that Shaq played during crunch time was inexcusable. I’m still kind of in shock with how their season ended.
I’d be shocked, shocked if the Cavs even got a interview from Phil Jackson, let alone sign him. But maybe I’m pessimistic (and maybe Gilbert will throw a big pile of money at him).
(Oh, and color me surprised that Cleveland fans voted Randy Lerner the best owner in town. The Browns are allowed to get away with anything (like losing, ugly no less, for 10 seasons) and the fans in Cleveland will forgive them. A year ago, Browns fans wanted him gone but because he went out and got a big name, all if forgiven. (And hey, I like the Holmgren signing as much as anyone but it’s not like he’s a got this great history as a GM)).