Just days before starting his third season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, coach Byron Scott was given a fourth.
A person familiar with Cleveland’s decision said Wednesday night that the Cavs have exercised the option on Scott’s contract for the 2013-14 season. The team picked up the option less than a week before Scott opens his third year with the club, said the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Cavs’ policy is to not make player or staff contracts public
The 51-year-old Scott is 40-108 in his two seasons with Cleveland. However, the team has been impressed with the way he has developed its young roster, which includes point guard Kyrie Irving, the NBA’s reigning rookie of the year, and second-year forward Tristan Thompson.
The Cavs’ decision on Scott was first reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Scott took over the Cavs in the 2011 season, following the summer when superstar LeBron James left for Miami as a free agent. Scott, who previously coached in New Orleans and New Jersey, signed a three-year deal – with the Cavs holding the fourth-year option – without knowing if James would be back.
Cleveland went 19-63 in Scott’s first season, losing a league record 26 consecutive games in one horrific stretch. But even while enduring one of the worst seasons in league history, Scott maintained a positive attitude and kept his team from splintering.
The Cavs finished 21-45 last year, but Irving flourished in Scott’s system and the 20-year-old restored hope to a franchise the bottomed out after James bolted.
Scott is excited about his young team this season, and the Cavs should be better with rookie guard Dion Waiters and center Tyler Zeller expected to play significant roles.
A first-round draft pick in 1983, Scott played 15 seasons in the NBA. He won three titles as a shooting guard with the Los Angeles Lakers.