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November 14, 2009

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GM Bower takes over as Hornets ax coach Scott

THE New Orleans Hornets have fired head coach Byron Scott and replaced him with general manager Jeff Bower, the National Basketball Association team said on Thursday.

The move came after the Hornets lost 104-124 to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday leaving the team with a 3-6 record.

Bower has worked in a number of roles with the Hornets over the past 14 years, including spells as assistant coach, and has also coached at college level.

"He knows the team better than anyone, has the respect of the players and in basketball circles is regarded as one of the best minds in the business," owner George Shinn said in a statement. "This is our best opportunity to reach our goals this season."

Scott, a former Los Angeles Lakers player, took over as coach of New Orleans in 2004 and was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2008 when the team won the Southwest Division championship.

Bower, who also will remain general manager, immediately moved to name Tim Floyd his top assistant. Floyd, a former Hornets head coach, had more recently coached at the University of Southern California.

Bower was Floyd's assistant coach with the Hornets during the 2003-04 season.

Scott was in the final year of a two-year extension worth about US$5 million a year.

The Hornets hired him hoping he could repeat what he did in New Jersey, when he twice took the Nets to the NBA finals. He wound up 203-216 in a little more than five seasons with the Hornets.


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