The NBA is a cutthroat business, with sometimes (often times, in fact) wildly unrealistic expectations.
Just ask Mike Brown.
Brown, named Coach of the Year in 2008-’09, and the most successful coach in Cleveland Cavaliers history is now unemployed. This is what happens when you fail to win a title with LeBron James on your team.
The Plain Dealer reports:
The team is expected to make a formal announcement on Monday. The reason the act had to be done before the end of the weekend was there was a clause in Brown’s contract, an extension signed in 2007, that guaranteed him about half of his salary for next season of $4 million if he was let go within 10 days of the end of this season.
Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert, who hand picked Brown and gave him his first head coaching job after an extensive coaching search in 2005, is believed to have been the driving force behind the decision. Though it followed more than a week of intensive meetings in which the merits and drawbacks of a coaching changed were deeply discussed. Some Cavs’ players, including LeBron James, also seemed to lose patience with Brown after some of his adjustments and rotations didn’t work against the Celtics in the playoffs.
Brown’s regular season record was 272-138, a .663 winning percentage that was the best in team history. Brown also set a team record for playoff wins, finishing 42-29.
Word out of Cleveland is that LeBron didn’t push for Brown to be fired. That being said, the writing was clearly on the wall: the Cavs had to find another voice — one with the semblance of a plan on the offensive end — to lead the team.
Cleveland is now entering its most unnerving period in franchise history. They currently don’t have a head coach, and within weeks, they could be without the greatest player in team history.
It goes without saying, but right now is not exactly the best time to be a Cavs fan.