Monday, May 24th, 2010 at 8:30 am  |  41 responses

Mike Brown Fired By Cleveland Cavaliers

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

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

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.

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  • Hussman25

    What did the 10 day evaluation period “REALLY” do for his job… Nothing

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    No surprise here. If they would have kept him another season – that would have been a surprise. If the Cavs don’t keep LeBron, I wonder who will get the ‘blame’, Brown or Delonte or Ferry or possibly LeBrons mom.

  • Daniel Dragicevich

    Wow, The NBA is going to be very different next season

  • CLydeSays

    Brown never showed much imagination on offense, but I always wondered was it because he didn’t have that in him, or was it that he had one player consistently dominating the ball & his 4 teammates deferring to him all the time?

  • ripslam

    I’m still not over that COTY award.

  • Fut,

    LeBron has to stay with Mr West, his new dad, so he can care for him and wipe away his tears when the bad men make him look silly.

  • Shem

    He basically gives it to LeBron on the wing and calls an iso. The Celtics we’re so successful because Pierce was responsable for only guarding one way when LeBron was driving. Then if he went the other way KG would come and help and they’d rotate on the perimeter for no easy shots. The fact that he could score on Pierce when Pierce only had to guard one side is a testament to how good of a player he really is.. go to Chicago Bron and don’t look back

  • hoodsnake

    Mike B fired? What did he do?Guess the short answer is ‘nothing’. Ok so LeBron is staying and coming in is Phil Ja…. Oops anyway they must try to get Amar’e to sign in O-state. Think dude got a call from Joe Johnson recently…

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    So….Either A. This leads DIRECTLY to LeBrons first NBA championship (TYING him with Wade…) next season as he gets to hand pick his own coach…OR…. B. He leaves town under the guise of ‘they’ve blown the team up, I;m outta here!?’ It will be interesting to see how many CLEVELAND CAVALIER FANS THERE ARE ON SLAMONLINE with a LeBron-less team in Ohio.. probably go back to how it as pre-draft days… MARK PRICE FANS PLEASE STANDUP!!

  • riggs

    COY Curse strikes AGAIN!

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    wow, this is shocking!

    ok, not really.

  • MikeC.

    @Dacre – Brad Daugherty represent!!

  • DS44

    I don’t have to look at his ugly @$$ next season,LeBum’s greatness got him a much deserved unemployment!

  • http://www.cavs.com LBJ23

    Bye, Mr. Potato Head….

  • LA Huey

    co-sign riggs

  • BostonBaller

    Grimace AKA Mr. Potato Head AKA Coach Brown

  • http://www.clutchfans.com/ Blue

    I wonder…just how many NBA COY’s have been fired the following season in the NBA? Only Grimace and Sam Mitchell come to mind right now, with Avery Johnson getting his papers 2 seasons after…

  • Ali

    Got railroaded…You don’t take a team to the finals and then have two back to back 60+win seasons and get canned. Don’t think his coaching was all that bad. The Cavs trying to be the Redskins of the NBA is what hurt them. You can’t be bouncing players around on your team and expect to jel at the right to time to win it all. Damn shame!

  • Robb

    No coach deserved it more.

  • Donovan

    Dear Mike,
    Don’t get upset at me, I’m just a messenger. It’s happens to the best of them. Well not including you of course. I’m sure being regular season champs back to back and having the MVP but no rings counts for something. I just hope you invested your money wisely. Being outcoached in the playoffs year after year …is pretty impressive. Can’t wait to see you.

    Yours truly,
    Pink Slip

  • Nigel

    Man, that COY award is crazy. Right up there with the MVP/No Championship curse.

  • Nigel

    Man, that COY award is crazy. Right up there with the MVP/No Championship curse.

  • mj23

    Danny Ferry should be fired as well for trading for Shaq and Jamision.

  • ClydeSays

    I don’t think you let Lebron ‘pick’ his next coach. Have sign off yes, but at that’s it. If Gilbert/Ferry are smart, they’ll go after Larry Brown (knowing you’ll have to pay him 4 years for 2 years of coaching). He’s got a ring and had proven he can coach vets hungry for a ring. He’ll wear off on the team eventually and vice versa but he can get it done in the short term.

    They’ll also need a vet playmaker/defender to stop the Rondo/DWilliams/CP3/Jennings?Nash/Kidd/Parkers of the League. Mo Williams is best used off the ball. That’s all easier said than done.

  • B

    I think Paul Silas is still available…

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Now he can go back to chilln with the hamburglar

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Ouch… Thanks for the great run you had in Cleveland, Mike. Here’s to another job somewhere else.

  • truthteller

    Kobe was in this same situation a few years ago and look at how that turned out ;)

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Classy move by Ferry to pay the man before he left.
    Time for Calipari!

  • KoBynum716

    Mike Brown: Worst Coach Ever

  • NBA kid

    I think that if this offseason has a theme song, it would be “The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    NO to Cal! Byron Scott.? JVG’s offense is also a suspect to me.. Pat Riley by a long shot. and again where’s Rudy T?

  • Jose

    Whoever gets a gig der is going to be either really excited or really disapointed. depending on how soon dey find a new coach

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    i hope the cavs really have their eyes on Byron Scott. i really think he’s a great coach. great leader. hard nosed. i’m not expecting him to help turn Williams the way he did (partly) with Jkidd and CP3. but i really think he could turn him into a better playmaker and court general. alongside him i hope Ferry and Gilbert could find great asst. coaches in the likes of tom thibodeau. letting go of john kuester was a big mistake. Pat will never come true so as Coach k and Phil even if he parts with LA. Larry Brown could, but the MJ connection will keep him in Charlotte. No to Cal.

  • http://kixnation.tumblr.com Pepeton Conde

    the COY jinx continuessssss………

  • nastierthanu

    @donavan hilarious

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com Hoopistani

    mike brown was never an excellent coach – he had an okay run for five years, basically magnified by lebron’s play and favourable match-ups in the eastern conference. not taking anything away from the great regular season records in the last two years, but his firing is long overdue.

  • Ali

    Coaches COACH! Players PLAY! Management MANAGES!
    Can’t put it all on the coach…If LeBron does come back don’t think the CAVS will be the Eastern Conference beasts of the regular season anymore. LeBron had free reign with Mike in there, things will never be the same in Cleveland again. Ferry has gotta take some ownership of their playoff failings too. Listen to what the CAV players are saying after the firing…

  • truthteller

    Kobe was in this same situation a few years ago and look at how that turned out ;)

  • truthteller

    breaking news:Rudy Gay is going to Cleveland to play with Lebron!

  • E.R

    They guy was terrible at making adjustments. He will stick with a certain line up or game plan even if wasn’t working.