Thursday, June 17, 2010

Moving On

As Dan Gilbert recovers from Tom Izzo's rejection, the Cavs are pursuing Byron Scott:

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)).

3 comments:

davemanddd said...

randy lerner as the best owner in cleveland??? puh-lease!!! gotta hand it to cleveland fans who are so much like janet jackson, it's not even funny as they constantly go by the "what have you done for me lately" mantra. i'm sorry but when i look back over at lerner's entire tenure here so far, i see nothing but epic fail. meanwhile, dan gilbert has done nothing but give the cavs their longest run of sustained success in their entire history that ranks right up there with those great indians teams of the mid to late 90's and the kosar led browns teams in the late 80's. he is by far the best owner in cleveland sports despite the cavs inability to win a title thus far during his tenure. lerner is a distant 2nd in my mind only due to the fact that the dolan's are just so agonizingly cheap. at least lerner spends more than just a token amount of money to bring in some better players from time to time. gilbert has not spared any expense even once in trying to field a championship team here. it's the players who have failed to produce a title with all that he's provided for them. given his track record, i just think it's a matter of time before he finally does deliver a championship here, with or without lebron.

Erik said...

Mike Malone and Chris Jent. No one likes to hear it, but that's where this is headed.

No one outside the organization is going to bite on the Cavs job until they find out what LeBron is going to do. Probably not even an assistant on a contender, like Brian Shaw.

LeBron is not going to do any hand-tipping until mid-July at the earliest, and he might let this free agency drama play out until August. Heck, Labor Day. He does have a movie to shoot, remember. And as we know, Bron is all about priorities.

By late July, Scott will have a job if he wants one, Shaw might end up with the L.A. job that Scott doesn't get, and who does that leave. JVG? No. He's staying at ESPN.

Only person who can/would fill the Cavs job without LBJ's commitment is probably an in-house candidate.

So get familiar with Mike Brown's former assistants. One of them might very well be the Cavs' next coach.

Ben said...

I can't imagine that LeBron would drag this out to August. I figure he'd make his choice fairly early. I'm under the impression that he'd take the first week to make all of his visits and then decide on or around July 8th.

But who knows, he could very well drag this out.