INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – Kyrie Irving seemed particularly distraught about the news that the Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach Byron Scott on Thursday.
Irving is the Cavs’ second-year point guard, leading scorer and All-Star.
“I feel like a piece of me is missing,” Irving said while looking at the ground. “I’m trying to get over the loss of my basketball father.”
Still, the Cavs have made their decision — parting ways with Scott after three seasons and a 64-166 record. The Cavs finished last in the Central Division all three years.
“We just felt at this juncture, based on fact weren’t making enough progress collectively, this was the right decision,” general manager Chris Grant said.
The Cavs finished the season 24-58 and lost 16 of their final 18 games. Their biggest issues came on the defensive end, as they allowed opponents to shoot 47 percent from the field.
“Coach is a great guy,” forward Anderson Varejao said. “I’m gonna miss him. … I wish I could’ve played more games for him.”
Irving characterized his feelings as surprised and saddened.
“I don’t really have any positive feelings right now,” he said.
Scott was at the practice facility for part of the morning, said forward Tristan Thompson — who offered his support for Scott last week when rumors of Scott’s dismissal first surfaced.
Scott did not address the media, but he did comment via a release from the team.
“I am certainly proud of the progress that many of our players have made and greatly appreciate the dedication of my coaches and our team in our efforts to attain the success we all desired,” he said.
Added Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, “I wish Byron Scott and his entire family the best going forward. Byron is a class guy, both on and off the court, and I thank him for his three years of coaching the Cavaliers.”
Scott has compiled a 416-521 career record as coach of the Nets, Hornets and Cavs.