Byron’s The One

By Tonya Raymond
Updated: May 1, 2008

TORONTO — The NBA awarded its “Coach Of The Year” to the right man as . Byron Scott won the Red Auerbach trophy for the 2007-08 season on Tuesday night.

Yes, the same Tuesday night that his team, the New Orleans Hornets, sent the Dallas Mavericks home early in the first round of their Western Conference playoff series.

Everyone suspected Scott would be the one receiving the trophy even though there were many worthy candidates including Maurice Cheeks of the Philadelphia 76ers and Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics.

Looking at where the New Orleans Hornets have come from, there is no doubt Scott was the right choice. Before they were known as the New Orleans Hornets, they were the Charlotte Hornets back in 1988.

Even with the name and location changes they always had their ups and downs especially when it came down to winning. The Hornets started out their franchise on rocky grounds but had a good stretch when they gave berth to their first playoff series in 1992.

Even with playoff appearances they were sent home. Eventually, the move from Charlotte to New Orleans was made. And what many thought would be a new beginning quickly turned out to be anything but that when Head Coach Paul Silas and then Tim Floyd were fired.

After the firing of Floyd in 2004, Scott was brought in. Many hoped this would be the right coach for the team but it was that same year when Scott took over as head coach three all-stars were injured.

Baron Davis, Jamaal Magloire and Jamal Mashburn all suffered injuries that season and the team finished with only 18 wins and a staggering 64 losses. That record isn’t pretty any way you look at it and when it was all set and done they tied for the second worst NBA record.

Some would say including myself it was a blessing in disguise. In the 2005 NBA draft, the Hornets selected Chris Paul as their point guard. In his rookie season, Paul averaged 16 points, 7.8 assists and 5 rebounds.

The Hornets would miss the playoffs that season but they didn’t hang their heads because they knew that Chris Paul was an unbelievable talent just waiting to explode.

Since Scott came in as head coach of the Hornets not only did he make the team he has now better, but he has also developed the level of his right hand man and a deserving MVP candidate.

Now some people may not see it the same way and would argue that Scott didn’t really do anything, especially when it comes down to Paul. I disagree. Yes, Paul is an amazing player, but we should give a little more credit to the head coach.

Scott took a struggling ball club and completely turned it around with the help of the coaching staff. He also made New Orleans fans happy and gave them something to cheer about after Hurricane Katrina.

Just think about it…The New Orleans Hornets finished second in the Western Conference with 56 wins! 56!

And you say Byron Scott isn’t deserving?