As a player and coach, Byron Scott has been linked with some of the greatest point guards in the history of the game.
— From 1979-82 at Arizona State, he was backcourt mates with Lafayette “Fat” Lever, who went on to become a two-time NBA All-Star.
— From 1983-91 with the Los Angeles Lakers, Scott was teammates with the greatest to ever run the point in Magic Johnson.
— From 2001-03 as coach of the New Jersey Nets, Scott had Jason Kidd at point guard en route to winning two straight Eastern Conference titles.
— From 2005-09 as coach of the New Orleans Hornets, Scott enjoyed the services of rookie of the year Chris Paul, who helped Scott capture the 2007-08 NBA coach of the year honor.
— Now as the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Scott is reaping the benefits of reigning rookie of the year Kyrie Irving, who last summer reportedly was holding court in scrimmages against Team USA at Las Vegas before breaking his right hand at Cavs practice.
In NBA history, only five No. 1 overall picks have averaged 18 points and five assists their rookie season, and Scott is directly linked to two of them in Irving and Johnson — Oscar Robertson, Allen Iverson and LeBron James are the others.
Scott would have been linked to three had James not taken his talents to South Beach six days after Scott was hired as Cavs' coach in July 2010.
Of the top six players in NBA career triple-doubles, Scott crossed paths with half of them in Johnson (138), Kidd (107) and Lever (43).
Right place at the right time for Scott, and it shows no sign of slowing down with the affable Irving already strutting his stuff at age 20.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Moments after Mike Brown was fired as Lakers coach Friday, Las Vegas handicappers were posting odds on his full-time replacement (not interim).
Bovada had the following:
2/1 — Mike D'Antoni, Jerry Sloan
5/1 — Phil Jackson, Brian Shaw
6/1 — Nate McMillan
8/1 — Bernie Bickerstaff
49.5 — Total regular-season wins for Lakers
13/2 — Lakers do not make the playoffs
12/5 — Eliminated first round
5/1 — Eliminated conference semifinals
9/2 — Eliminated conference finals
7/2 — Lose NBA Finals
4/1 — Win title
RJ Bell of Pregame.com had the following:
Jackson ($100 bet wins $175); D'Antoni ($375); Shaw and McMillan ($800); Sloan and Jeff Van Gundy ($1,200); Jordan, Mike Fratello and Chuck Person ($2,500).
Before the season started, title favorites (in order) were: 1. Miami Heat; 2. LA Lakers; 3. Thunder.
After the James Harden trade, the Lakers' slow start and Brown being fired, the order remains the same: 1. Heat ($100 wins $160); 2. Lakers ($300); 3. Thunder ($450).
THE HARDER THEY FALL
In his first two games with Houston, Harden scored 82 points on 44 field-goal attempts. He was 28 for 44 (.636) from the field, 6 for 14 (.429) from 3-point range and 20 for 23 (.870) from the free-throw line. He averaged 41.0 points, 7.0 assists, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 4.5 turnovers.
In his next three games, Harden cooled considerably with 57 points on 57 shots. He was 17 for 57 (.298) from the field, 2 for 17 (.118) from 3-point range and 21 for 27 (.778) from the line. He averaged 19.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 5.3 turnovers.
The Rockets hosted Detroit on Saturday night.
TWITTER TOP 10
LeBron James (6,458,766)
Shaquille O'Neal (6,415,078)
Dwyane Wade (3,796,853)
Dwight Howard (3,554,721)
Lamar Odom (3,378,446)
Kevin Durant (3,085,225)
Carmelo Anthony (2,597,855)
Paul Pierce (2,450,028)
Pau Gasol (1,557,165)
Chris Paul (1,518,433)
Earvin “Magic” Johnson @MagicJohnson
I'd love to see Phil Jackson or Brian Shaw. Wish Pat Riley was available.
Scott on Saturday, saying he had no interest in the Lakers job: “As I stated in the summer, I made perfectly clear, that I am perfectly happy here in Cleveland. I love what we're building, I love what we're doing. This might be a good time to ask (owner) Dan (Gilbert) can I get another four-year extension.”