Mike Brown’s 5 successful seasons as Cavaliers coach finished awkwardly, with neither side certain it was actually the right move for him to be fired.
The breakup was a little messy.
It might be time to reconcile.
Brown has an interest in returning for a 2nd stint with the team, somebody familiar with the situation said. Brown, who went to the NBA finals with the Cavs in 2007, is ”receptive to the idea” of coaching in Cleveland again, said the person that spoke on condition of anonymity as the sides haven’t yet discussed a possible return.
It is not known when the Cavs will contact Brown, who may be coveted by several other teams.
The Cavs are looking for a new coach after firing Byron Scott on Thursday following his 3rd straight losing season. Scott was the person who replaced Brown in 2010, shortly after the Cavs were eliminated by Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals and weeks before LeBron James decided to leave as a free agent.
Brown went 272-138 and went to the playoffs every season with the Cavs, who won 66 and 61 games in his last 2 regular seasons. The team’s decision to dismiss Brown following the ‘10 season was made in part to try and appease James, whose final days with the Cavs were tension filled and included whispers by some he quit on the team during the Boston Celtics series.
After the Cavs were eliminated, the club had 10 days to pick a decision on his future or they would’ve had to pay Brown’s whole $4 million income for the next season. The Cavs asked Brown to increase their window, but he refused and was let go on the 10th day. Brown did not want to risk waiting until later on in the summer and then not having enough time to discover a job if he was fired.
He wound up sitting out a season before he was employed by the Lakers. He spent one season in Los Angeles before he was fired 5 games into this season.
Brown left Cleveland on good terms with owner Dan Gilbert and he’s tight with general manager Chris Grant, a close friend since school. Earlier in the week, Grant recounted the team’s new coach would have to be defensive-minded, a teacher, hard worker and ”grinder,” and that would aptly describe the affable Brown, who stressed defense during his time with the Cavaliers.
Cleveland’s list of candidates is expected to include Warriors assistant Mike Malone, who was previously on Brown’s staff with the Cavs as well as Miami assistant David Fizdale. Grant will also likely present some college names to Gilbert, who will clearly have last say on the hire. Basketball spreads
On Saturday, Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson related it’s time for Malone to get his shot as a head coach.
”I think he has been ready,” declared Jackson, who didn’t know if the Cavs had made contact with Malone. ”He deserves it, though. He deserves an opportunity.”