Seemingly hours before the $4.5 million guarantee was set to kick in, Mike Brown got kicked to the curb by Cavaliers ownership. No shock here, or anywhere around Cleveland on this one, despite the fact that when you look at it on paper there should be. All the guy did on paper was win 272 games, the Coach of the Year, the Eastern Conference Finals, and post the league best regular season record twice over the last two seasons all in the short period of 5 years as HC. But in a league where the big money's made in the playoffs, Mike Brown's team failed to advance to the Finals last season, and the ECF this past one when pitted against a team that was widely considered anciently old, playing with one foot in the grave...or where they?
Whatever the case, its over, Mike Brown's out, and let the who's going to coach now questions fly. Couple things on those questions briefly before I expand on that later - one, I bet Mike Brown gets a head job in the Association next season...mark that down. And two, if the Cavs should end up not resigning LeBron James, it may be difficult / impossible to land a head coach that will do a better job next season than Mike Brown would have done had he been retained. Did the move have to be made however? Yes, it probably did. And Dan Gilbert being "the driving force behind the decision" to me indicates that Gilbert's not thinking about the issues of attracting a head coach sans LeBron. He's still all in, and probably made this move with James in mind - despite the fact that LeBron "did not make a personal push with management for the coaching change." So we'll see what's up next for the Cavaliers as they now enter the coaching carousel just as the summer of LeBron is set to begin...should be interesting. In the meantime though, best of luck to Mike Brown, and a sincere tip of the hat from all of us here at Stepien Rules.
Going forward, we'll be posting a link list weekly composed of some of the links we've read and liked throughout the week. If you have anything you'd like us to link to, send it my way. Have a great weekend everybody, and if you happen to hit a card show, maybe see about picking up this gem...
Appreciate you saying this Rick, I cosign: Chicago Tribune: Shut your piehole - Waiting For Next Year, Rick
Fargo in the mix for LeBron? Don't laugh...okay, maybe laugh: City of Fargo Hoping to Lure NBA team by signing LeBron - Real Fake Sports, Andy
So that's one guy not talking about it, ahh, progress: Stupid Time Needs Hero: Barkley... - Cleveland Frowns, Pete
Its going to get much worse before it gets any better: The LeBron Tracker...Really? - Thuder Treats, DiLo
Podcast with Deadspin's Will Leitch and our good friend Jerod Morris is worth a listen: MSF Podcast with Will Leitch - Midwest Sports Fans, Jerod
Sandy Dover checks in with former OSU Buckeye's guard Danny Peters amidst his quest to become a college coach: San Dova Speakeasy - SLAM Online, Sandy Dover
Now it makes sense! Possible Explanations: The Micheal Jordan Hitler Mustache - SB Nation, Spencer Hall
And in case you missed it, Glenn's interview with SI's Chris Ballard: The Dugout Sports Show, Glenn
So does John Wall mean the Wiz are dealing Gilbert? What's a productive trade for Gilbert Arenas? - Bullets forever, Mike Prada
Mark Cuban and LeBron James: LeBron Talked about by Mavericks owner - The Plain Dealer, Mary Schmitt Boyer
I mean, come on? Really? The Wizards? Do they deserve this kind of luck? The franchise that tied Gilbert “Gun-Slinging” Arenas down to a $9.7 billion dollar contract? The franchise who used their last number one pick on Kwame Frickin Brown, career averages of 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds, once threw a cake at a guy posing for a photo with Ronnie Turiaf and drafted ahead of Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Kedrick Brown? Ok, that last one was a joke, but come on – the Wizards should not have been given this choice. They should have landed in a position at which the only viable option was to choose Cole Aldrich. That was a match made in Draft Heaven. Heck, even the number two pick and Evan Turner seems better. No way did they deserve John Wall. John Wall is arguably better at this stage (one year of college) than Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Derrick Rose. Arguably. Instead of the prospect of playing for a eccentric and ambitious billionaire, he gets to suit up alongside Nick Young and Quinton Ross. Do I like him and Randy Foye as a duo? Yes. Do I think he could help steady Andray Blatche and turn his potential into night in night out performances? Yes – see example Cousins, DeMarcus. Do I think John Wall will start the season off as a Wizard? Maybe. I put nothing past the Wizards, I wouldn’t be surprised if the traded down a slot, or else took Lance Stephenson number one overall because they overheard MJ say he looks good. Either way, the decision facing the Wizards is one 29 other teams would love to face – John Wall or not?
The 76ers know what they have to do – take Evan Turner and never look back, ever. Many people – like, a whole lot – are saying that the guy’s going to be better than Wall when it’s all said and done. While he averages more turnovers than Wall, his other numbers are great reading – 20 points, 6 dimes and 9 rebounds. Will he get that kind of production in Philadelphia? I’m going to say yes, but not right away. If Jrue Holiday develops the way they expect him to, him and Turner solve the backcourt issue for the next ten years. A polished scorer who gets to the basket at will, Evan Turner may not be the Answer, but could very well be the future.
The rest of the lottery went pretty much according to plan, outside of the Nets landing in third spot that is. Would have been funny had the Jazz lucked out and landed the top pick, you know, after the Knicks traded it to them and all. I just can’t wait for the Timberwolves to pass on Greg Monroe and co. and opt for another point guard.
Mikhail Prokhorov has stated his outlook for the Nets – championship in minimum one year, maximum five years. Same game plan as the Magic. He also stated he wanted the Knicks first – way to win the hearts of your fans buddy. The world’s 39th richest man doesn’t use a phone, that’s cool man; LeBron will reject you via smoke signal if you want. Maybe he’ll get Jay-Z to pass on the word. Love the part when he said the team needs a power forward, Yi must be just brimming with confidence right now. Wonder are there any six-foot-ten Russian’s who can dribble out there?
As for on the court matters – no comments
If LeBron wants to leave, we have to let him go.
First of all, as matter-of-fact as this sounds, we can't exactly act like this is some shocking surprise when we knew the stipulations surrounding his contract. When he re-signed in 2006, the terms were he would stay a Cavalier if he won a ring or if he was in the best position to win a ring down the road. The Cavs proved they didn’t do those two things. It’s not like the Cavs didn’t try, and it certainly doesn’t mean the city and fans didn’t support him through the process. Thirty teams vie for the NBA title every year (well, usually 24 vie for the playoffs and 6 vie for John Wall), and only 1 can win it. The Cavs tried to stack the odds in their favor, and they couldn’t get it done. He’s not betraying us. He’s doing what a star athlete should do: getting better and putting himself in a position to win championships.
This year, we spent too much time worrying about Orlando and LA, we didn't think to look out for Boston. And truthfully (someone on twitter said this, but I forget who), the only team you should worry about building yourself around is your own. If you make yourself competent then you won't have to worry. That includes on-and-off court positions. It would be dumb for me to assert that everything will feel OK next year. It won't. It will feel fundamentally different, even a little empty.David O’Leary alluded to this earlier. But in all this talk about how angry and disappointed the city and the fans will be if/when he leaves, we’ve lost sight of the fact that LeBron has been the best Cavalier ever. He played well (and that’s an understatement), and we should be grateful for that. LeBron gave Cleveland the 7 best consecutive years ever of Cavaliers basketball. He came onto the team in 2003 and immediately became the team’s leading scorer, even with chuckers like Ricky Davis around. (more after the jump)
Gotta give credit to Brendan, dude had his thoughts up on the site after Game 6. As in, right away. No pause for remorse. No grieving over the possible death of Cleveland basketball, nothing. Just a blog. Then you have me. Sure, I could have typed something up sooner, but for the younger group of web followers it might have been a bit, em, tasteless and abusive. Few days on, I’m felling a little better – but I still have a few things that needs public airing or it’s going to just erupt and one of the following will happen A) Me being so cranky my girl just leaves or B) Me taking all my Cavs jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies etc. and having a good old soul-cleansing by burning them. We don’t want either to happen, so here goes...
To Mike Brown - who’s being “evaluated” by the owners at the current moment. Here’s where I stand, love the way he’s instilled the meanest D on the planet in our guys mindset, love the way he’s a little (mind blowingly) easy going when LeBron calls the shots. He’s not that bad a coach is he? But when you consider that we have the most unstoppable small-ball team in the NBA that would have crucified Boston in five games only for him not to acknowledge that, I get annoyed. Williams-West-Moon-Bron-Hickson/Varejao would have ran the Celtics right into retirement. But nope, he stuck with LeBron and hoped the others would come through for him. They didn’t Coach, and soon you and Mike Woodson will be golf buddies.
To Mo Williams- or Maurice as you shall now be forever known. Thanks for two great regular seasons; you really know how to get a guy’s hopes up with meaningless thirty point showings against Minnesota. Last year we should have known that you couldn’t deliver in the big time. You can’t defend Maurice, at all. Rajon Rondo is good, real good, but thanks to your “defensive effort” throughout the series he’s now being labelled the best point guard in the league by some (who they are I don’t know). You’re a very suspect shooter also, I mean, 27-66 shooting isn’t pretty. Having more turnovers than assists in Thursday nights game isn’t helping your cause either man. Expect your name to be right up there on the owners “Evaluation To Do List”, right before this guy… no comments
I wanted to pause for a moment from our daily bloggings and banter about basketball here at Stepien Rules and spread whatever word possible on a cause that I believe is worth donating to and supporting in whatever way you can. That being the current mission of Team Sawtooth Soldiers to raise money and awareness for the support of our service men and women injured in combat overseas through their climbing of Mount McKinley in June.Below is an except from what that mission entails, and how you can help... no comments
The "Wine & Gold Show" is going 2 hours today! This is it people. Game 6. WIN OR GO HOME!
We will start at 6pm ET and go all the way to tipoff. This could be our last show of the season and we want it to be a great one! And we can promise you this, we will NOT pull a LeBron on you guys and give a lackluster performance!We will have CHRIS BALLARD from Sports Illustrated on the show. We will talk about his article on Shaquillie O'Neal, also the play of LeBron James and previews tonight's Game 6 between the Cavaliers and Celtics. We will also take your phonecalls, Skype calls, and read your messages in the chat room!
Now after observing LeBron James for the last decade, my thought on his latest retreat is simple. His effort Tuesday, and arguably Sunday as well, bookended by his comments that followed looked to me like a 25-year old kid that is completely overwhelmed with the decisions he has allowed to loom as large as they have, and he’s way more vulnerable at the moment than he ever thought possible. He won’t admit this, but beyond being consumed by the questions of where to take his career next season, I believe he’s also questioning his ability to live up to the hype of becoming a champion.