The Focus Now Needs To Be on Gilbert, Grant

The Cleveland Cavaliers fired Head Coach Byron Scott today; that is no surprise to anyone. What is a surprise though, is how it seems fans are giving a pass to General Manager Chris Grant and Owner Dan Gilbert. It’s time for fans of the wine and gold to hold those two accountable for their actions. As of this writing, I don’t know exactly why Scott was fired, but if it was for anything other than losing the respect of his players then his firing was wrong. There’s no doubt the team lost a lot of games during Scott’s tenure, but how many of those losses is Scott personally responsible for? I can’t say, and management likely won’t give us their count of those losses.

A few quick takeaways about Byron Scott from a person who doesn’t watch a lot of NBA action: I think expectations for him were too high when he was hired. Many thought he would become Cleveland’s Phil Jackson (no, Jackson won’t be coaching here), and thought he’d be able to mold the team into a contender. In fairness to Scott, his tenure was effected by significant injuries every season. Also, the team featured a lot of young players who hadn’t found their way in the NBA.

Is it Scott’s job as a former player to try to help them make the transition to the NBA? Of course it is, but he can’t do it alone. The lack of veteran leadership on the team is appalling, and that falls directly on the shoulders of Chris Grant. Many accused the team of tanking this and the previous season to improve draft status. While that may be an effective strategy to get quality draft picks, if that’s what the team intended to do, what’s the point of firing Scott?

Are there no potential free agents that are willing to play in Cleveland or for Scott? Is he that poor of a coach?

I appreciate that Scott was fired now instead of allowing him to start the season only to fire him a few games into the 2013-2014 campaign. That would have been a huge mistake for Gilbert and company.

Speaking of Dan Gilbert, why is no one upset with how he’s managed this team since LeBron James left? Not only did he embarrass himself and the city with the comical suggestion that the Cavs would win a title before James, but he allows its current superstar, Kyrie Irving, to disrespect the fans on fan appreciation night without penalty.

Gilbert and his PR department allowed Irving to walk off the floor after a tough loss to Miami and then lied about a non-existent injury. Irving showed his appreciation of Cavaliers PR department by mocking and calling them out. Why? Do not baby Kyrie Irving.

If there’s an owner in town that knows their fans would support public shaming an athlete for being a baby, it’s Gilbert. Gilbert should have apologized for the indiscretion by his PR department and made Irving an example of how Cavalier players aren’t bigger than the organization or more important than fans.

If Gilbert’s shaming causes Irving to leave when his contract expires, so be it. I’d rather the owner represent the fans than baby some kid who isn’t appreciative of what he has and the love the city shows him.

Byron Scott isn’t the reason the Cavaliers performed bad over the past three seasons; blame injuries and lack of support from the front office.

Ineffective moves in the off-season and being more supportive of underachieving “superstars” should put Chris Grant on the hot seat. If I could put owners on the hot seat, Gilbert would be there.

I understand Gilbert needs to make money, but it feels like he’s spending too much time building and buying casinos instead of managing the property that was his gateway into the casino business.

It’s time for Cavalier fans to hold Grant and Gilbert as accountable as they held Scott. Until those two become better managers, good luck signing free agents or a successful head coach. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");