Posted by: The Matzo Ball | November 14, 2009

Former Hornets Coach Scott To Coach Bridgewater JCC Women’s Basketball Team

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Byron Scott is the new head coach of the JCC basketball team, the Lady Shofars, after getting fired by the Hornets.

If there is one person who should believe in karma, it’s former New Orleans Hornets Coach Byron Scott.

In just the first game in the post-Scott era, New Orleans did not get the “fresh start” it thought it so deservedly needed. Guard and franchise player Chris Paul sprained his left ankle in an 86-78 loss to the Portland Trailblazers and is expected to be out 1-2 weeks.

An overwhelming majority of fans, NBA owners and personnel thought the 2007 NBA Coach of the Year got the raw end of the deal, following the immediate aftereffect of his team’s paltry 3-6 start, which led to his demise.

Although the Hornets had the third-most difficult schedule at the time of Scott’s firing (.581 opponents winning percentage), Team president Hugh Weber was looking to go in a new direction.

“We appreciate Byron [Scott] and what he did for the New Orleans community,” Weber said in a press conference, “but New Orleans is a winning city and we weren’t winning games. It’s pretty embarrassing for a basketball team to have fewer wins [3] than its neighboring football team.”

The Saints are 8-0 this season.

Scott was disappointed in the abrupt decision, but spent little time on the market after Rabbi Ben David, a member of the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center In Bridgewater, N. J., convinced him to take a job as a head basketball coach because it would “be a great learning experience for him.”

“It’s an exciting day for New Jersey and all of Bridgewater,” Rabbi David said. “While we were hoping to acquire someone who has a little more experience coaching at the JCC level, this is certainly a positive step.”

The last time Scott was in New Jersey, he was packing his bags after getting fired for a “slow” 24-22 start in the 03-04 season, following two consecutive NBA Finals appearances. Nonetheless, he was elated to find out that he would make his return to the Garden State by taking over the reins as head coach for the JCC under-16 women’s basketball team.

“These girls finished in third place last season, which is an amazing accomplishment, but I’m looking forward to helping them improve even more,” Scott said. “As soon as Tracy Cohen gets her braces off, we can really start getting into gear.”

The Shofars finished 3-3 last year, good for third place in the five-team league.

Scott is optimistic that as long as he doesn’t win a JCC Coach of the Year Award, his job will most likely be secure. Over the past seven years, every year, the recipient of either the JCC or NBA Coach of the Year Award has been fired (see chart at end of article for more details).

“I just have to focus on the present,” Scott said. “The NBA and JCC League are two entirely different entities, despite a very similar mentality and physicality.”

The Bridgeport JCC cannot offer any monetary salary to Scott, but it will be able to offer him something of even greater significance.

“They said that I will get 50 percent off of all Shabbat dinners as long as I’m head coach,” the former Lakers star said. “I’ve never had a Shabbat dinner before, but I hear they have this amazing bread that looks like Princess Leia’s hair. I think you are supposed to ‘holla’ in the air every time you’re about to eat it or something like that.”

There are five Shabbat dinners that overlap the season.

With Hornets superstar Chris Paul getting injured in 100 percent of the games he’s played without his former coach by his side, perhaps it was a blatant sign that basketball teams should simply never fire Scott.

Meanwhile, the Nets have won as many basketball games this season as the New York Jets.

Game Notes:

Over the past seven years, every year, the recipient of either the JCC or NBA Coach of the Year Award has been fired

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2009 JCC Coach of the Year Noah Goldstein was forced to take a leave of absence after a summer league game, when he joked during a press conference that he would think about scheduling a game on Shabbos for the right amount of money.

Year Coach of the Year Team (League) Status
2009 Noah Goldstein Gefilte Fish (JCC) Leave of Absence
2008 Bryon Scott Hornets (NBA) Fired
2007 Sam Mitchell Raptors (NBA) Fired
2006 Avery Johnson Mavericks (NBA) Fired
2005 Mike D’Antoni Suns (NBA) Resigned
2004 Hubie Brown Grizzlies (NBA) Retired
2003 Rebecca Sheinstock Rhein Fire (JCC) Resigned
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