NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 31 - The NBA announced tonight that New Orleans Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott was selected as the head coach for the Western Conference All-Stars for the 2008 All-Star Game, to be played on Sunday, Feb. 17 at New Orleans Arena. Scott is the first head coach in Hornets franchise history to coach the All-Star Game.
“This is a tremendous honor for me, but also one that should be shared with our players, organization and the city of New Orleans,” said Scott. “Having the game in our home city and the fact that I can join my mentors Coach Riley and Coach Brown as having coached for both conferences makes it even more special.”
Head coaches for the East and West All-Star teams are based on teams with the best winning percentage in each conference though Feb. 3 (last year’s coaches are not eligible) . Scott and the Hornets (32-13, .711) clinched at least a tie with Dallas for the best winning percentage in the conference as a result of the Mavericks’ 90-96 loss tonight at Boston. The first tiebreaker goes to the coach who most recently has not coached in the All-Star Game, giving Scott the nod over Dallas’ Avery Johnson (who coached the All-Star Game in 2006). Scott will join Boston’s Doc Rivers, who earned head coaching honors for the Eastern Conference All-Stars on Jan. 21.
Scott, who coached the Eastern Conference All-Stars in Philadelphia in 2002 during his time with the New Jersey Nets, becomes just the sixth coach in NBA history to be named the All-Star in both the Eastern and Western Conference (joining Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Flip Saunders and Lenny Wilkens). Scott’s achievement also marks the 10th time in NBA All-Star history that a coach will be on his home court and the first time since Paul Westphal (Phoenix) in 1995.