Let me start this blog by saying I truly love covering Byron Scott. In the 7 years I’ve worked at WDSU I have never met a more honest, secure and open coach or player.
Ask him a question…he’ll answer it.
I know that that sounds simple, but when dealing with coaches who enjoy being secretive, guys like Les Miles and Sean Payton, it’s refreshing to be around Scott.
I also think Byron is a tremendous coach that commands amazing respect from his players. I think he’s the guy to lead the Hornets to an NBA title and that he should be back and even get an extension from Hornets owner George Shinn.
That said, I also think Byron has to tweak his coaching process. He has to be more understanding of young players and players with odd personalities.
Now, to the point of this blog: At the Hornets media event last Thursday team President Hugh Weber and Executive of the Board Chad Shinn laughed when a reporter started off asking a question with the following words:
“Byron Scott does not like young players”
They shrugged off those words as comical and untrue…but the reality is that Weber and Shinn should not be laughing about those words…they should be taking them to heart and doing something to rectify what’s become a bad trend.
The trend: BYRON SCOTT DOES NOT HAVE THE PATIENCE FOR YOUNG PLAYERS AND DOES A POOR JOB DEVELOPING THEM!!!!!
Look, the facts are the facts and the Hornets are in a bad situation because some of the best young players to pass through New Orleans are now on other rosters, helping other teams.
How good would the Hornets bench be with JR Smith & Brandon Bass instead of Devin Brown and Melvin Ely???? LOTS BETTER!!!!!
What about Chris Andersen coming off the bench instead of Ryan Bowen?
And please don’t tell me the team was only able to acquire Tyson Chandler because they traded JR Smith!
THAT’S COMPLETELY UNTRUE!!!
The Hornets acquired Chandler by trading PJ Brown. JR Smith was an after thought throw-in to make the contracts work. JR Smith went in that deal because Byron Scott wanted him gone and that was the easiest way to ship him out of town.
JR was young and immature….we all know that…but what do you expect from an 18 year old kid? JR needed nurturing and Scott wasn’t the guy to nurture!
Scott loves hard nosed veteran players…and no one faults him for that…those are the players that are the core of championship clubs. But New Orleans is a franchise that has to develop young talent to stay relevant…and they have not. New Orleans cannot afford to go sign the tough vets Scott loves year in and year out…they have to start developing them themselves.
So in my opinion, it’s Scott’s fault his bench is the worst in the NBA.
Look at Scott’s track record as a head coach…he’s developed three young players in 9 years as a head coach. Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson & Chris Paul….all three were lottery picks with Martin and Paul being top 5 selections. Besides those three, NO DEVELOPMENT!
DRAFT PICKS UNDER SCOTT:
2000: Kenyon Martin & Soumaila Samake
-Martin is a star big man, Samake was a bust with 3 NBA teams.
2001 New Jersey: Eddie Griffin & Brian Scalabrine
-Griffin was traded for Richard Jefferson and Scalabrine has developed into a solid back-up. With Jefferson and Scalabrine…this is arguably the best class Scott developed.
2002 New Jersey: Nenad Krstic & Tamar Slay
-Kristic never played for Scott. He continued playing in Europe for two years after being drafted….and that was probably a good move…he now averages 10 points a game for Oklahoma City. Slay was a wash-out in the NBA.
2003 New Jersey: Zoran Planinic & Kyle Korver
-Planinic rotted on the Nets bench under Scott but has gone on to have a terrific career in Europe. Kyle Korver was traded immediately to Philly on draft night for cash. Korver is now considered one of the best shooters in the NBA. Like Krstic, thank goodness he did not have Scott during his rookie season.
2004: New Orleans: JR Smith & Tim Pickett
-Despite being named rookie of the month in the NBA several times Scott grew tired of Smith’s childish antics. JR Smith is now averaging nearly 20 points a night for the Denver Nuggets after Scott sent him packing. Pickett plays in China.
2005: New Orleans: Chris Paul & Brandon Bass
-CP3 is the best point guard in the NBA and an MVP candidate. Bass should be the Hornets best bench player but after rotting on the pine for two seasons he signed as a free agent with Dallas and now averages 8 points and 7 rebounds a night for the Mavericks.
2006: Hilton Armstrong, Cedric Simmons & Marcus Vinicius
-Armstrong is a complete underachiever…Simmons and Vinicius are out of the NBA.
2007: Julian Wright & Adam Huluska
-Wright has shown flashes of being a good player but has never earned a consistent spot in Scott’s rotation. Huluska is out of the NBA.
2008: Pre-arranged Deal: Traded 1st Pick to Portland for Cash, No 2nd Round Pick
David West: Some people will say Scott developed David West. UNTURE! West played his rookie season for coach Tim Floyd and did a nice job backing-up PJ Brown. West was injured for 75% of the season in 2004-2005 during Scott’s first year in New Orleans and only earned playing time the following season because Scott was forced to play PJ Brown at center all season. If the Hornets had had a center one could argue that Scott might have stunted West’s all star growth.
And don’t get me started on European players. Besides Peja Stojakovic it’s obvious Scott has some type of disdain for the way these guys play or their perceived lack of toughness. A perfect example of Scott missing on a euro: Bostjan Nachbar. Boki’s playing time in New Orleans with Scott decreased during each of his three seasons. But once he got to New Jersey he averaged 10 points and 3 rebounds a game as a top reserve playing about 20 minutes a night. Nachbar parlayed his success with the Nets into a big contract in Russia. And how can we forget Arvydas Macijauskas? The Lithuanian sharp shooter that the Hornets beat out the Mavs and Celtics to sign. Considered one of the best scorers in all of Europe….Macijauskas played in just 19 games all year during the 2005-2006 season and became so upset with Scott he left after one season to go back to play in Greece. I know it’s a reach…but who’s to say Arvydas would not have become the next Manu Ginobili???
Am I being too hard on Byron? I don’t think so.
Byron Scott has to realize that he works for an organization that is not like the Lakers, Mavericks or even the Cavaliers. Those teams have no problem spending money…exceeding the NBA’s luxury tax to sign as many veteran free agents as necessary. The Hornets cannot do that and Scott has to realize the situation.
The Hornets cannot continue to miss on draft picks. They cannot continue to let promising young players go to other organizations.
Byron Scott simply has to be more patient with young players and realize that developing them is arguably the most imortant part of his job!