10.28.05

Vescey Buries Byron Scott

Posted in Basketball at 10:33 am by

Not even a period of Katrina-enforced exile in Oklahoma City is enough to spare Hornets coach Byron Scott — a favored target during his days in New Jersey —- from the NY Post’s Peter Vescey.

Lord Bye-Ron, you may recall, was jettisoned by Jersey just after the mid-point of the season before last. Not even the Nets’ 101-63 regular-season record during the previous two ” highlighted by a Final Frolic in 2003 ” was enough to save Scott.

Finally, after endlessly ignoring how harmful to his team’s health his coach had become, Nets president Rod Thorn made his Dread Scott Decision in favor of no-experience Lawrence Frankincense who nearly went undefeated for the remainder of the season, that’s how giddy Jason & The Argonauts were to see Bye-Ron beheaded.

Scott, by all accounts, was (choose one):

a) A lazy lump;

b) Dangerously smug;

c) Out-coached and simply out of it;

d) Any combination thereof.

Scott took over as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets prior to the 2004-2005 season . . . and promptly guided them to a franchise-worst 18-64 record.

As putrid of they were/are, the Hornets did/do have some marketable members. Chief among them: Jaamal Magloire (above), who, despite missing 59 games last season (fractured right ring finger and back spasms), was an ’04 All-Star.

The Toronto native, entering his sixth season, was actively sought by the Raptors prior to last June’s draft (the price of two No. 1s, management felt, was too stiff) and remained a coveted commodity during this past offseason.

Yours truly, the hack journalist, had the temerity to type such blasphemy into last Sunday’s column. Sources had told me there was ongoing trade conversation with numerous teams re Magloire. Bye-Ron responded by telling the local (temporary digs of Oklahoma City) and New Orleans media that I have no clue what I’m talking about and never have.

Three days later, Magloire was traded to the Bucks for former Oklahoma State standout Desmond Mason, an ’06 first-rounder and cash.

Jim Bower, a recent GM replacement for the terminated Allan Bristow (the club erroneously announced he left for medical reasons), openly admits the Bucks’ offer was just one of many proposals. In fact ” perish the thought ” the Hornets had actually initiated some of the discussions.

Meaning, either Bye-Ron is completely out of the loop or he’s terminally fruit loops. Either way, he ought to consider coming off the golf course more often or, at the least, subscribe to The Post on line so he can keep up to date with what his team is trying to do.

“What I meant to say,” Scott hedged, “is we wouldn’t trade Magloire for Jackie Mason. And another thing; Malcolm-Jamal Warner isn’t going anywhere.

For his part, Mason was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Charles F. Gardner, calling the Bucks liars.

Mason, who played for two-plus seasons in Milwaukee, focused his anger on Bucks general manager Larry Harris and owner Herb Kohl in a radio interview aired on WAUK-AM (1510).

Mason called Harris “a snake in the grass” and said he “flat out lied to my face” about the chances of being traded, even after the Bucks signed free-agent forward Bobby Simmons during the summer.

After the Bucks’ practice Thursday, Harris said the deal came together quickly early this week, after the general manager had a Pfister Hotel coffee shop session with Sen. Kohl on Monday morning. Harris had become concerned about the Bucks’ depth at power forward and center, but he denied he was shopping Mason to other teams.

“Certainly, no one wants to be called that,” Harris said of the “snake in the grass” comment. “All I can say is I know he has a great passion for Milwaukee. It was a shock to him when I phoned him, I knew that.

“Obviously, he’s a very emotional young man. It’s the nature of the beast, and we move on.”

In an interview with radio host Steve Haywood, Mason said: “It’s hard for me to say this about somebody, but Larry’s a snake. He’s a snake in the grass. I thought my situation with Seattle (being traded to the Bucks in 2003) was tough.

“The magnitude of things that Larry Harris told me this summer, this season, all those things. I mean, he told me a lie to my face.”

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