Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hornets fired Scott

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New Orleans Hornets general manager Jeff Bower will assume the team's head coaching duties after the Hornets fired coach Byron Scott early Thursday morning.

Former Hornets coach Tim Floyd has been named as Bower's top assistant.

Scott was fired when the team arrived in New Orleans at 5 a.m. Thursday local time from Phoenix, where the Hornets were beaten by the Suns to fall to 3-6 in what has been a disappointing start to the season. According to TNT analyst David Aldridge, Bower informed the coaches and the team of his decision later Thursday morning.

"Accountability was our theme this past summer," Hornets vice president Chad Shinn said in a statement released by the team. "We talked about the fact that everyone on our staff is held to a certain standard of performance and we didn't feel this was happening at the head coach level.

"We feel like we still have an opportunity with our nucleus to get to where we want and Jeff is the right guy, right now to move us in that direction from the bench."

Bower said it was more than simply the poor start to this season that prompted the quick trigger on Scott's job.

"Nine games into the season is one thing," Bower said. "Numerous practices that we watched and the effectiveness of our team growing from them are all areas of the team that we feel need to be different.

"Given that plus our preseason play, we're looking to something to point to to say that it's changing. The only thing you can do is look at the tapes of the games and search to see what progress is being made. We weren't comfortable with the amount of progress we were seeing."

Bower was on the Hornets' bench in recent years as an assistant to both Paul Silas and Floyd, but has been the general manager of the team since 2005. He has been involved in the front office during most of his 14 years with the organization, as a scout and director of player personnel. Bower was an assistant coach at college at Penn State and Marist.

Floyd's last job was as coach of USC from 2005-09, where he went 85-49 and led the Trojans to the Sweet 16 in 2007. He coached the Hornets in the 2003-04 season, guiding a team led by Baron Davis and Jamaal Magloire to a 41-41 record and first-round loss to the Miami Heat in the playoffs. The rest of the assistant coaches will remain in tact with the addition of Floyd.

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