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Cavs fire Byron Scott; eyeing Brown return?

The SportsXchange

Byron Scott was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers the day after the team concluded a 24-58 season - 14 games out of the playoffs.

Former Cavs coach Mike Brown is interested in discussing the opening, and the interest in a potential reunion is mutual, sources told ESPN.com. Brown, who was fired by the Los Angeles Lakers after just five games this season, was 272-138 as the Cavs' head coach from 2005-2010.

However, he is still owed more than $8 million by the Lakers over the next two years, and it's not known how committed he is to returning to coaching next season. Cleveland is also expected to contact several other candidates in the coming days.

Scott, 52, was 64-166 since being hired on July 1, 2010.

"I have tremendous respect for Byron professionally and a great deal of admiration for him personally. At the same time, it is critical for where we are as a team to ensure that we capitalize on every opportunity for development and success and we have fallen short of that on the court," said Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant. "I believe we needed to make this change in order to get to a better position to achieve our goals."

The Cavaliers finished the 2012-13 season with the third-worst record in the NBA. They have failed to reach the postseason in the three years since LeBron James left for the Miami Heat, positing winning percentages of .232 in 2010-11, .318 in 2011-12 and .293 this season.

Cleveland was outscored by 384 points this season, an average of 4.7 per game, and the team's defensive struggles clearly played a role in Scott's dismissal.

"I fully support the difficult move that was made today. Although we saw progress with young individual player development, we did not see the kind of progress we expected on the team level this past season," Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said. "We understand it was challenging with the injuries, but when you are at our stage in the building process, you don't only measure team progress in wins and losses.

"It has been our strong and stated belief that when our team once again returns to competing at the NBA's highest levels it will be because we have achieved our goals on the defensive side of the court.

"Our fans have been incredibly loyal and supportive during these transition years. They deserve better than we have been delivering as of late and it is our full intent to deliver them the kind of competitive team that they expect to see on the court beginning next season."

Gilbert's desire to improve the Cavs' defense could point toward Brown, who is known as one of the NBA's top defensive coaches.
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