by Alejandro de los Rios
Pop-quiz: If you're a professional basketball coach, what is the best way to get a contract extension?
A: Amass a 151-177 (.460) record in four years
B: Lead your team to an 18-game improvement on the previous season
C: Win the Coach of the Year award.
The answer is all of the above.
Now, before anyone jumps down my throat, I didn't put that first option in as any sort of veiled jab at Byron Scott. I have nothing but the foremost respect for the man who answers all questions with a smile and led this team to a exceptional year (on the court and off).
The reason I put in Byron Scott's .460 winning percentage is because it's a true indicator of just how hard Lord Byron has had it over the past couple of seasons and how much harder his job now is. Think about it: after four years as head coach, Scott has led this team from NBA anonymity to title contender, a franchise-best 56-26 record and division title and, as the Times-Picayune reports, he only gets a TWO year extension.
But so is the life of an NBA coach. After the Dallas Mavericks tossed coach Avery Johnson following the Hornets 4-1 first-round victory, Scott said "Nothing in this league surprises me anymore." He was, of course, referring to his tenure in New Jersey that saw him get canned a year after back-to-back Finals appearances.
Regardless, he deserves all the credit (not too mention the moola: $6-million a year!) and here's hoping he continues the reign of success. If only because this team will be a lot less fun without him around.