Byron Scott knows something about winning. The man won three championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers of Showtime fame. He coached the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back Finals less than a decade ago. He claimed a Coach of the Year award in 2008.
He’s also become pretty familiar with losing.
Scott entered the record books last night in Dallas as the coach of the team with the longest losing streak in the 65-year history of the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers have dropped 25 in a row since their last victory nearly two months ago.
That’s the kind of losing skid most NBA types never experience. Unfortunately for Scott, he’s been through it before. He grinded through a 23-game losing streak as a player on the 1995-96 expansion Vancouver Grizzlies.
“They’re both tough,” Scott said of the separate losing streaks. “I don’t think you can say one’s tougher than the other. They’re equal. As a player, you feel that you can affect the game because you’re out there doing it. As a coach, the game plan and everything has to be carried out by your players. In that sense, you have more control as a player. It still doesn’t make it any easier.”
The Grizzlies’ streak had been tied for the longest in a single season before Cleveland broke it last week. Antawn Jamison said last night after the Cavs set the new record for an overall losing streak that he hopes it never gets broken, just to save anyone from having to go through the same misery.
Scott knew he was in for a rebuilding job in his first year in Cleveland after LeBron James bolted, but …
“I didn’t expect it to be this tough,” he said, “but it’s nothing I haven’t been through before.”
He would know.