That was fast! Like a band-aid that he’d rather just swiftly rip off than remove gingerly, Dan Gilbert has fired Mike Brown after his the first year of Brown’s second stint as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The move comes less than four months after the team fired general manager Chris Grant.
Brown was fired Monday for the second time in four years by owner Dan Gilbert, who last April brought back the only coach to get the Cavs to the NBA Finals but then dismissed him after the team failed to make the playoffs.
The Cavs went 33-49 under Brown, who had four years remaining on his contract.
Some thoughts on the situation:
1. Think this won’t be tied to Cleveland and LeBron? They’ll never admit it publicly but one has to assume that Dan Gilbert and co. are working their asses off to try to lure James back home. And firing Mike Brown was the only way that this could be done, despite whatever lip service LeBron pays through the press. James is one of the best politicians in the league, understands the importance of a clean image and – most importantly – knows the Brown isn’t a championship-caliber coach. That being said…
2. Why bring Brown on board in the first place? I’ll never understand this, and I’ll never understand why I lined up to drink the Kool-Aid when it was getting passed out last summer. He coached nine more wins out of Cleveland than in the 2012-2013 season and, in a testament to the wasteland that was the Eastern Conference, finished third in his division. But his defense was below average (16th overall), and those who actually watched Kyrie and co. ball saw a very disappointing product. Given Mike’s track record, there’s little reason to believe that another season or two would right the ship.
3. Mike Brown played a huge role in the drafting of Anthony Bennett. Kinda goes without saying that, assuming the next coach isn’t sold on Bennett’s talent the way that Brown was, AB’s chances of rebounding from a disappointing rookie campaign take a hit.
4. Who’s next? Dan Gilbert is well-intentioned and willing to spend money, but the thought of working under a man this indecisive and – let’s call it what it is – erratic isn’t too comforting. So while the thought of grabbing George Karl from behind his ESPN desk is appealing on paper, you can’t imagine a man as accomplished as Karl jumping at the opportunity.
5. Mark Jackson would be fun, though.