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Byron Scott is a professional basketball head coach, where he last coached for the Los Angeles Lakers. Scott was also well-known for bringing his fierce, competitive edge as a player in helping the Los Angeles Lakers win multiple championships in the years of 1985, 1987, and 1988.
Scott, an Inglewood, California native has 3 decades of NBA experience, including 14 seasons as a player, 14 as a head coach, and two as an assistant coach. In his 14 previous seasons at the helm of the New Jersey Nets (2000-2004), New Orleans Hornets (2004-2009), Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-2013), and the Los Angeles Lakers (2014-2016), Scott has amassed 454 wins after beginning his coaching career as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings (1998-2000). The 2007-2008 NBA Coach of the Year has led his teams to the postseason four times, including back-to-back NBA Finals appearances with New Jersey in 2002 and 2003.
Scott has also served as an NBA All-Star Game head coach on two occasions: 2002 (Eastern Conference) and 2008 (Western Conference). He’s one of only seven coaches to earn the honor in each conference, five of whom have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in a coaching capacity. Scott also became just one of the eight coaches in NBA history to win Coach of the Month honors in both conferences when he garnered the honors for the Western Conference in January 2008.
In his head coaching role with the Cavaliers, Scott developed a number of young Cavaliers players, including Kyrie Irving and Dion Walters, and topped his previous win total each successive season in his three years with the Cavs. Among his other coaching achievements, Scott was at the helm for the best season in franchise history of two teams: the 2007-2008 Hornets who went 56-26 (.683) and the 2001-02 Eastern Conference Champion Nets who went 52-30 (.634). The ’07-’08 campaign was 17-win improvement from the previous season in New Orleans, and resulted in an appearance in the Western Conference Semifinals. Scott also saw marked success in his second season with the Hornets during the 2005-2006 season, leading the team to a 20-win improvement (the NBA’s best that year) from his first season, despite hurricane Katrina displacing the team from New Orleans and playing in four different home arenas throughout the season. Scott had a similar impact in his first head coaching stop, improving the Nets by 26 wins between his first and second seasons, making the sixth-largest improvement in NBA history.
Prior to his successful coaching career, Scott enjoyed an outstanding NBA playing career, spending 11 of his 14 seasons (1983-93 and the 1996-97 season) with the Lakers and helping the purple-and-gold to three NBA Championships (1985, 1987, and 1988) and six NBA Finals appearances as an integral starter during the ‘Showtime’ era. Originally selected in the first round of the 1983 NBA Draft (4th overall) by the San Diego Clippers, Scott became a Laker on October 16, 1983 when the Clippers traded him.
One of the marquee shooting guards of his time, Scott concluded his 1,073-game NBA career (717 starts) with averages of 14.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists on 48.2% shooting in 28.1 minutes per contest. The 6-4 guard had his best single season in 1987-88 where he achieved career-high per game averages of 21.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists while starting 81 games and ranking 8th in the NBA in minutes played (3,048) and 9th in three-pointers made (62). Scott finished in the top-10 in three-point field goal percentage four times in his career: 1984-85 (.433, 1st), 1986-87 (.436, 4th), 1988-89 (.399, 10th) and 1989-90 (.423, 5th).
A consummate winner, Scott reached the postseason in 13 of his 14 years in uniform, tallying 183 postseason games (122 starts), posting career playoff averages of 13.4 points on 48.2% shooting, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 29.3 minutes per game. His 183 career playoff appearances ranks 11th all-time in NBA history.
The 1983-84 NBA All-Rookie First Team selection saw his NBA playing career come full-circle after signing with the Lakers as a free agent prior to the 1996-97 season following stints with Indiana (1993-95) and Vancouver (1995-96), when the 35-year old shooting guard mentored 18-year old rookie, Kobe Bryant. After retiring from the NBA following that year, Scott played the 1997-98 season overseas, winning a championship for Pananthinaikos in Greece before moving into coaching.
Most recently, the Arizona State University Hall-of-Famer was an on-air talent for Time Warner Cable SportsNet programming last season. His broadcasting experience began during the 2003-04 season when he served as a studio analyst for ABC’s NBA telecasts and continued during the 2009-10 season when he was an analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the NBA.
Byron Scott is the proud father of three children: Thomas, LonDen and DaRon and blessed grandfather of three granddaughters.