Following his dismissal (and with potential suitors ready to pounce), Brown’s former players and members of the coaching fraternity came to his defense: “LeBron James is on vacation and unavailable for comment, according to his spokesman … ‘I have nothing but good things to say about him,’ Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. ‘I enjoyed playing for him. I think coach Brown is a very good coach. Obviously, we didn’t achieve what we set out to achieve, which is to win a championship. But if you’re going to lay all the blame on coach Brown and think that’s going to solve everything, you’ve got another thing coming. I think we’re all at fault — the players, everybody. You have to, at some point, accept some of the responsibility. We all have to do that. A coach only can take you so far. At some point you have to do it yourself and we didn’t do it. I think coach Brown will be fine. He’ll be coaching again, and I’m very sure he’ll have success.”

“Mike Brown has only had the best record in the league the last two years,’ Stan Van Gundy said sarcastically. ‘I think it’s clear that the guy can’t coach.’ Then Van Gundy turned serious. ‘It’s an interesting thing now,’ Van Gundy said. ‘It doesn’t seem to be about winning and losing anymore, it seems to be about expectations. The non-playoff teams — other than Philly and New Jersey — they’re happy (with their coaches). Toronto, New York, everybody’s happy.’ Van Gundy broached the names of Brown, Vinny Del Negro of Chicago and Mike Woodson of the Atlanta — three playoff coaches who were fired after their teams were eliminated from the postseason. ‘Mike Brown has been to the NBA finals and the Eastern Conference finals,’ Van Gundy says. ‘It’s just shows how things have changed. I’ve always said franchises can and should be able to do whatever they want and whatever they think is in their best interest, but what I don’t like is the way a guy like Mike Brown is being portrayed. The guy is a great coach. His record has proven that.’”