Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 at 11:00 am  |  18 responses

Players, Coaches Offer Support for Mike Brown

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.’”

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  • LA Huey

    Nothing against Woodson, ATL just needed a new voice. VDN was wronged. Brown lost his players with his inability to make in-series adjustments.

  • Murphy

    damn there are some dumb people in the world, how do u fire someone after turning one of the leagues worst team to the best in just a matter of a couple of years. sure they have LeBron and sure they didb’t get the ring but coach Brown is still one hell of a coach, where he goes just be ready for another very talented team cuz we all no he can coach

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    The winningest coach the past 2 seasons gets fired. I guess it’s really about expectations huh? Like when Detroit didn’t make the finals and they decided to shake things up for trading away Billups. Then all hell broke loose and now Detroit is a pretty broken team.

  • T-Money

    I love how nobody was saying how great of a coach he were when he had the job. Of course it is about expectations. Flaming out in the second round is just not acceptable when you have the overall best record and the best player on your team. The players (from bron to shaq to z to mo) tuned him out and were publicly doubting his strategies. He had to go. Be careful, Stan. You might be next.

  • Yesse

    Cavaliers will never be the same. I never liked the way Cleveland fans and other guys were hating on Mike Brown. A new coach might even make them miss the playoffs, because i doubt that LeBron is back.

  • Orlando Woolridge

    IMO Billups was far more important to Detroit’s success than Mike Brown was to Cleveland’s success. And of course it’s about expectations, why shouldn’t it be? I just don’t think that having the best record necessarily means he’s a great coach. It is possible that they would have done even better with a different coach, no?

  • http://www.slamonline.com MooButter

    If you ask me, there are four main components of Pro-Coaching: offense, defense, rotations, and chemistry. Mike Brown was great at Defense and chemistry. Unfortunately it seems his proficiencies in those two ares were not enough to overcome his deficiencies in the other two. I’m not sure there’s a coach in the league who does all of those four well.

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

    ^^ Jerry Sloan and Greg Popovich do all of those well.

  • peter

    In the NBA its about maximising the potential of the team you have…Sloan, Popovich, Larry Brown, Phil Jackson all do a great job of this and that’s why they are the best. Mike Brown didn’t turn that team around, Lebron James did, and Mike was along for the ride. They need someone who can get them over the hump, cause Lebron can’t do that alone.

  • ripslam

    The Cavs didn’t lose because of Brown. Sure, Brown was part of it, but if LeBron hadn’t choked, they probably might’ve won the series. After every single loss LeBron kept saying he wasn’t worried, he wasn’t worried. Well maybe ya should’ve been, eh? Anyway, I don’t think Cleveland is going to get a coach any better than Mike Brown. They’ll be regretting this next year.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    I could still see his large silhouette framed by the distant sun. His thunderous evil laughter still audible. Behind me, a path of destruction, as far as the eye could see. But I know that beyond that distant past, glory will be restored again… Slowly I turned back towards the setting sun… The Shaq was gone….

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

    Eerie, dutch. Mike brown? He had a good run.overall, they just couldnt do it. Such is life. Whats next, that is a question

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    I predicted Mike getting the sack by the All Star break as soon as they acquired the Shaq. I was off by a few months but my reasoning was right.
    His presence alone turned the superstar against the coach. Granted, coach Brown was never great, let’s be honest, but he was good enough for mant wins. The Shaq acquisition put the bar real high to make the fall harder, for both Brown and Bron. But regardless of all these factors. Only great coaches win Championships. Unfortunately Shaq knows this (stop promising Chips you can’t deliver) Mike will be fine, Bron will be interesting. Shaq will leave more chaos ahead…until they send him to the coal mines as a support beam.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    “It doesn’t seem to be about winning and losing anymore, it seems to be about expectations” No sh-t Van Gundy. That’s how it always is in any position of leadership. If Kurt Rambis can’t make the playoffs with that roster, everyone can understand why. If Mike Brown can’t get past the 2nd round with the best player in the league and 2 other All-Stars, he’s going to get fired. If a guy makes a $500K profit in a year managing a Waffle House, he’ll probably get promoted. If a CEO of a Fortune 500 company can’t turn more than a $500K profit, his azz will be on the hot seat. If the president of Zimbabwe can get the unemployment rate to 20%, he’ll be called a hero. If Obama gets the unemployment rate to 20%, he’ll go down as the worst president of all time. It’s not that hard to understand. Everyone in the world is judged relative to their expectations.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    Blame LeBron for choking all you want, but when you run the Mike Brown/Mike Woodson 1-on-5 isolation offense, you are basically saying f-ck ball movement, f-ck floor spacing, f-ck any aspect of fundamental basketball that has played a key role in the success of EVERY SINGLE NBA CHAMPION EVER. Even Kobe has the benefit of playing in the triangle and having an adequate level of floor spacing, no matter how much he hogs the ball on any given occasion.

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    I don’t think that Brown is a great coach by any means. In fact I think he’s decent at best. However, I don’t think any other coach with this team could have won the playoff series against the healthy Celts. The Celtics were/are simply a better team. Even with the best player on the floor, if the next best 4 all play for the other team, there isn’t much you can do. Yes another coach would have likely had made different or more adjustments but when the talent level is so different there isn’t much you can do. If Brown had coached MJ/Pippen or Kobe/Shaq he would have won a few rings because he would have had the superior talent. His ‘drop’ in coaching ability compared to Phil would not have been enough of a change for the bulls/lakers not to win nor would Phil coaching this years cavs have been enough to beat this years Celts. No superstar in today’s L will win a chip without a talented supporting cast with at least another all-star type player. Coaching matters, but not enough to overcome such desperate talent gaps. Yes firing Brown brining in a better all around coach will make a difference. But bottom line the Cavs must keep LeBron and spend over the cap and get another bonafide star (not another good role player like Jamison) if they want to win a ring.

  • riggs

    he’s a coach by name only

  • lillemomoney

    Puttin all the blame on Brown WOULD be wrong if it were actually happening! Fact is he lost his team and has NEVER performed well under pressure.

    Last years Orlando series was a PATHETIC display of playoff coaching! And when you really think about it, any time his teams came back from a bad situation last year and year before, it was LeBron or Mo Bailing them out after the team looked stagnant and uninspired…Give me ONE good example of a pressure situation where HE was an
    exceptional Coach?!