He survived a player mutiny.
He was able to pull the knife out of his back after a spoiled brat point guard thrust it between his shoulder blades.
He outlasted questions about his coaching acumen, his ability to get along with players and to some degree, his intelligence.
|Byron Scott refuses to point fingers over his firing in New Jersey. (Getty Images)|
These NBA playoffs won't cure this age in sports, this era of sports' spiritual malnutrition. These great playoffs won't close the exit aperture of the sporting landscape where drugs, thugs and malcontents are seemingly vomited almost weekly.
No, none of that will happen but a great story like Scott's can help.
Scott's story is a great one about redemption but it also serves as a cautionary tale for allowing players too much power.
Amazingly, when Scott was coaching in New Jersey, he was fired after taking the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals. Think about that for a moment.
The reason Scott was dismissed despite such great success was mainly due to Jason Kidd. While Kidd denies he had anything to do with Scott's dismissal, most people who possess a fully functioning cerebral cortex know Kidd hasn't been wholly truthful about his role.
The relationship between Scott and Kidd turned ugly in December 2003 when Kidd and Scott got into a locker-room screaming match following a blowout loss. Before Scott's firing, Kidd spoke to management and stated the team needed a coaching change. See: back, stab it.
We now understand how bad a maneuver listening to Kidd was. Kidd has proven to be one of the more selfish players in the sport. He's Ko-Me Bryant-lite.
When Scott's New Orleans Hornets came to New York in March, he addressed what happened in New Jersey, telling the media, "I stay away from that stuff as far as possible. What happened in New Jersey is in the past. That is how I look at it. I am in a better place and this is a different time. I really don't even think about what goes on there and what happens to Jason Kidd. That is Jason Kidd and that is how I look at it."
Scott did however use the word "mutiny" when describing his final days with the Nets. I'll say. The only thing missing was Kidd accusing Scott of stealing cheese.
Scott has not only proven his firing in New Jersey was unjustified and moronic, he must now be seen as one of the better rebuilding talents in the NBA. In the three seasons before he was fired Scott won 26, 52 and 49 games. Scott took a horrid franchise and made it reputable.
He has done the same thing with the Hornets with the horrid backdrop of Hurricane Katrina.
"I don't listen to people who (doubted) me and I don't listen to people who praise me now," Scott said earlier this season. "People are so fickle. I just continue to be the person that I was. I thought it was good enough in New Jersey and I think it is good enough today."
The irony is that Scott's Hornets have the opportunity to eliminate Kidd, the player who chopped off Scott's knees in New Jersey, Soprano style. I like the Dallas Mavericks organization but can't say I would be too upset if Kidd the Mutineer is sent home by Scott.
I get the feeling Scott, despite his public protestations to the contrary, wouldn't mind either.