Scott's firing catches Paul off guard

John Reid

As Hornets players gathered at the Alario Center on Thursday morning, team president Hugh Weber met with captains Chris Paul and David West to inform them that Coach Byron Scott was fired and his replacement would be General Manager Jeff Bower.
Paul wasn’t happy with the decision, and he wasn’t pleased with being caught off guard by the announcement. He said New Orleans should have sought his and West’s input before the decision was finalized.

"I felt like maybe somebody would have at least consulted with me and asked how I felt before it happened," Paul said by telephone Thursday night. "It’s not to get my approval, but we feel we should know about the decision before it takes place."

The Hornets have struggled this season, getting off to a 3-6 start. Weber said the organization didn’t see enough improvement, which necessitated the move.

"You can’t put all this on Coach," Paul said.

Scott is the only coach that Paul has played for since coming to the Hornets as a first-round draft pick in 2005. They became golf playing partners this summer, and Paul largely credits Scott for helping him develop into a two-time All-Star point guard and Olympic gold medal winner (2008 Beijing).

Though Scott was a demanding coach, Paul said their relationship transcended the basketball court.

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