This is how the march back to the Playoffs started. For a five year contract worth just over $20 million, the Cleveland Cavaliers added a coach with a playoff pedigree, an outstanding regular season coaching record and the demeanor to take the franchise back to the playoffs.
His coaching ability was in demand. He was potentially fielding interest from the Philadelphia 76ers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons and the Phoenix Suns. Including the Cavaliers, a sixth of the league was interested in Mike Brown as a head coach. The Cavaliers got him.
So the Los Angeles Lakers of 2012-13 were not what people thought they were. So Dwight Howard’s recovery from surgery was not as complete as the Lakers hoped it would be. So the offense did not immediately gel. The Lakers decision to fire Mike Brown 5 games into the regular season was a short sighted mistake that became more evident through as the Lakers did not qualify for the playoffs until the final day of the regular season.
Mike Brown coming back to the Cavaliers is a complete and total coup. Brown had a list of suitors and chose Cleveland, where he coached from 2005 until 2010.
Cleveland was where he made the playoffs every year and was the head coach though the most successful stretch in the history of the franchise. Mike Brown’s defensive strategies were a key to taking a talented team that lacked a second superstar from the cusp of the playoffs all the way to the NBA Finals. When year after year the question was not of making the playoffs but whether they would win an NBA Championship.
Mike Brown, his coaching and strategy were the second Cavalier superstar that allowed the team to make deep runs in the playoffs despite the lack of a clear second option on the floor. Mike Brown coached a backcourt of Eric Snow and Larry Hughes to the NBA Finals. He turned Anderson Varejao into one of the most valuable defensive players in the NBA. He found a place for Sasha Pavlovic and Drew Gooden to succeed. He’s a teacher, a grinder, a professor of lockdown committed defense.
In 2010 there was a business decision that sent Mike Brown out of the Cavaliers organization. Danny Ferry, then GM, left when Brown was fired. It was the wrong decision to fire Brown, and undoubtedly a short sighted appeasement of one player who left anyway. The decision to Tom Izzo was famously courted to take Brown’s position certainly wasn’t made by Ferry or Chris Grant. When Byron Scott took the wheel, even Scott didn’t know what he would be steering.no comments