So the season officially ended with the firing of the old coach Byron Scott and the rehiring of the older coach Mike Brown. There’s a lot to look back on in one of the most disappointing seasons in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise. Records were broken through the Byron Scott Era, all of which are the kind of records you wouldn’t want your favorite team to be responsible for.
Rather than list these, we conducted the following interviews of Brendan Bowers, editor in chief of Stepien Rules, and Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, rather than interrupting Dan Gilbert to answer the questions, I took the liberty of answering them on his behalf.
So again, Brendan Bowers answered 5 questions on behalf of Stepien Rules:
1. What is your guarantee as to when the Cavs will contend for the playoffs?
My guarantee that the Cavaliers will contend for the playoffs is the 2014-15 campaign. My hope is that they compete in 2013-14. My primary concern at this point, while I believe that Mike Brown will improve the team defensively--assuming he is eventually hired--is whether or not this new group of Cavaliers--who did not play for Mike Brown before--are able to learn and adapt to his system defensively in time to compete this season. The offense, while that is his weakness so to speak, I'm not as concerned about. Kyrie Irving, like LeBron James before him, will make the offense palatable in my opinion.
2. Was Kyrie Irving better at anything in his second year than his first year? What part of his game improved?
I think he was obviously better collectively, but if I had to pick one aspect of his game it was his ball-handling. Brandon Knight is among those that would agree to the fact, I believe, that Irving is the best ball handler in the ENTIRE LEAGUE. His crossover move is the UTEP Two Step of this generation, and I expect his ball handling to become universally celebrated along the same way that Vince Carter's leaping ability was celebrating during the 1990s.
3. How will Mike Brown help this team?
He will create a defensive identity this team didn't have prior to his arrival. That much we can be assured of. The major obstacle there, however, is how well his superstar is able to play defense. Mike Brown got LeBron James to not only buy into his defensive philosophies, but also use his insane athletic abilities to play defense--the passing lanes specifically. Kyrie Irving is also a superstar, but he's not the same type of superstar that James was. I'm sure he'll be able to get Irving to buy in, but I'm not sure how effective he'll be at the point of attack. We haven't seen Kyrie play defense yet.
4. What disappointed you the most during the 2012-13 season?
Besides the injuries, the month of April disappointed me the most. I feel like everybody gave up, not just the players on Byron Scott.
5. How will Dan Gilbert be able to keep himself from forcing moves to get the team into the playoffs in 2014?
I'm not sure. I think hiring Mike Brown, is a move that Gilbert feels gets his team into the 2014 playoffs so maybe he's already started. Chris Grant will have to convince him why investing major dollars in an aging free agent like Paul Millsap or Andre Igoudala is the wrong idea this summer and it might be difficult. Notice I didn't say Al Jefferson there. If the white flag is waved on James in 2014, a move like that might be imminent. So to answer your question, maybe he won't be stopped from doing so.
Then I answered 5 questions on behalf of Dan Gilbert, who is the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers:
1. Why did you fire Mike Brown in 2009?
Well, according to one reporter, after Game 5 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals - while jeers and boos were hailstorming down from the Cleveland crowd on the then NBA MVP for quitting in the game, the mother of one of the players on the team at that time approached former Cavaliers Head Coach Mike Fratello and said “F**k Mike Brown!! F**k Danny Ferry!! F**k this place!!” and offered Fratello the Cavs head coaching job. I don’t think I need to tell you that the “**” in that answer are “uc” and by "this place", mommers meant “Cleveland, Ohio”. Although the team contemplated making her the GM and allowing her to make the head coaching decision, unfortunately Fratello was not available because he was too busy complaining that Crostatas Pizza does not offer pepperoni as a topping.
2. What has changed about Mike Brown in 2013 that makes him the best fit for this franchise?
A policy decision was made within the organization to stop allowing personnel decisions to be made by player’s mothers. The organization has also contemplated not inviting high school teammates of players to the organization’s Summer League team, ride on team planes, to dictate the number of days the team spends on road trips in certain cities, and providing concierge service to mothers of players who are involved in DUI arrests.
3. Does Mike Brown have to take this team to the playoffs in 2013?
No since we’re committed to a rebuild which will probably end up taking half a decade. Also I love the guy since he is the best at job interviews of any person ever. We’re probably going to bronze that spit cup one day. Hang it up in the rafters, you know.
4. How do you respond to the argument that Mike Brown is the only coach in NBA history to have failed to win an NBA championship w/ LeBron James and Kobe Bryant?
Real funny question Bowers. You read that thing I wrote before? The one dude you referenced in your question, he quit on the team in two series, 2009 and 2010. So Mike Brown, technically would have two rings if that hadn’t happened. Kobe Bryant probably would have won a ring thing year, but they fired Mike Brown before he could get the job done. Looks like the Lakers are down two games right now. Mike Brown doesn’t let that happen, since he’s never lost a first round playoff matchup in his career. That’s a fact, you could look it up.
5. What do you say to Cavs bloggers who defended Mike Brown throughout his entire tenure against critics who then became vindicated by the fact that you fired him, suggested that you agreed with said critics at the time?
I’ve already sent them text messages to let them know they were wrong.