Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 at 9:15 am  |  78 responses

Shaq: LeBron James Never Listened to Mike Brown in Cleveland

You’re never going to believe this, but excerpts from Shaquille O’Neal’s new book pack even more titilating stories from his various stops around the NBA. The latest involves head coach Mike Brown and his former superstar forward LeBron James during their Cleveland Cavaliers days. From Hoopsworld: “O’Neal also talks about his experience in Cleveland, when the franchise was desperately trying to keep LeBron James happy. He writes that James received special treatment from Mike Brown, and wonders if Brown will have similar problems with Bryant in Los Angeles: ‘LeBron was a huge star. He was as big as I was in 2000 in L.A. when I was dominating the league. … Our coach, Mike Brown, was a nice guy, but he had to live on edge because nobody was supposed to be confrontational with LeBron. Nobody wanted him to leave Cleveland, so he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to do. I remember one day in a film session LeBron didn’t get back on defense after a missed shot. Mike Brown didn’t say anything about it. He went to the next clip and it was Mo Williams not getting back and Mike was saying, ‘Yo, Mo, we can’t have that. You’ve got to hustle a little more.’ So Delonte West is sitting there and he’s seen enough and he stands up and says, ‘Hold up, now. You can’t be pussyfooting around like that. Everyone has to be accountable for what they do, not just some us.’ Mike Brown said, ‘I know, Delonte. I know.’ Mike knew Delonte was right. … I’m not sure if Kobe is going to listen to Mike Brown. LeBron never really did. Here’s what we do know: Kobe will definitely be in charge.’ O’Neal also looks back on how his lone season with James came to an end, with a disappointing showing against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He draws comparisons between that series and James’ performance against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals: ‘There’s no question in Game 5 LeBron was kind of out of it. … I always believed he could turn it on at any moment, but for some reason he didn’t. Not against the Celtics in 2010 and not against the Mavericks in 2011. It was weird. It’s one thing to be a passer, but you are supposed to be the One. I’m watching him play against Dallas, and they’re swinging the ball and they get him a perfect open look – and he’s kicking it to Mario Chalmers. Makes no sense. I told people, ‘It’s like Michael Jordan told me. Before you succeed, you must first fail.’”

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  • mytiman

    Arrogance. This is why I hate LeBron so much. Wish Kobe and the Lakers could prove the critics wrong and help Mike Brown be a winner. Cavs success is also because of Mike Brown, not just LeBron. He instilled a defensive mentality on that team. Sure, his offense is a one page that reads “LeBron Iso”, but still, Mike Brown is heck of a coach

  • Tano

    The most incredible thing is that The Big Fella is damn right.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I have to get this book !!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • JBB

    But at da same time… As a coach u should be able to control your team. Rather you don’t want a guy to leave, u got to command respect from your team. Especially your star players. If they don’t respect you the whole team will follow. Mj tried to do it with Phil Jackson. It didn’t happen. Same with Kobe and shaq. Jerry sloan, coach pop just to name a few. They all had respect from there players. Because you are superstar don’t make you bigger then the team. I think if he commanded respect from lebron and didn’t back and didn’t care what the ppl in front office felt, lebron would still be in cleveland with a ring, some big name free agent would have joined him and mike brown would still have a job.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I wonder if ever Kobe pu*sy fanbit*h will come here and say “oh, Shaq’s lying about this too”, like thyy did in the Shaq/Kobe post. Fuc*ing females.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Another quote from the book..
    “Dwight Howard and I don’t really have a relationship. I don’t like people who lack originality. The whole Superman thing doesn’t work for me. … It’s kind of weird how he’s handled his career. He wants to be Superman. They’re talking about him going to L.A. when his contract is up. When I go back to the Orlando area in the offseason, they are doing all the same things for him they did for me. But that’s a mistake. He’s Dwight Howard. He’s not Shaq. Be your own man. Create your own brand.”

  • Ali

    Another Shaq report/quote/interview…YAWN!…..

  • Ryan D.

    Sounds to me like Delonte didn’t respect Lebron at all haha.

  • LA Huey

    I figured as much. I’ve always believed Mike Brown’s “crunch time offense” was more LeBron’s idea than generally percieved. Where are all the Kobe apologists like Eboy pointed out?

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

    Those gosh-darn FEMALES!!!

  • bike

    Shaq’s just pointing out stuff everyone already knew. I mean, of course Brown catered to LeBron—every coach who’s got a superstar franchise player caters to that player—if they don’t they are toast.
    Nothing to see here.
    Move on.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Awesome, I probably won’t have to read the book because various outlets spit out the best quotes from the book anyways! lol

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    Im not surprised. But Mike Brown and tha Lakers will win a ring or 2. Trust me. Kobe and tha rest of tha team are too strong willed to go out tha way they did again

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    One more addition to the legend of Delonte West… GANGSTA!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He didn’t discuss Penny. And he didn’t discuss Hakeem.
    I wonder why. At least not when discussing young stars he played with, or when discussing centers he went against. Seems like those two should have jumped out at him.

  • EtheKnickFan

    When Kobe was a yung’un and trippin, Phil basically told him “I will trade your ass” Lebron would’ve laughed at Mike B and then flipped in the front office. Mike would’ve been canned. Thats the difference Upper management trusted coach in LA. Owner in cleveland would have probably named his daughter Lebrona. Big difference

  • AD

    shaq is starting to get like Kobe now smh… tell it ALLLL shaq…… make ppl hate lebron more!

  • AD

    BUT . this happens everywhere, from high school bball to the pros.. stars get extra treatment this aint new……. Shaq is right but man ppl will do anything to sell a book

  • LA Huey

    I hear you, Allenp. Is there a website, blog, tumblr, or anything out there solely dedicated to the things associated with Delonte West? If not, I’m tempted to start one.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The Lakers had Shaq, Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones and several great role players.
    They could have traded Kobe and the threat was real.
    Cleveland was not trading LeBron for any reasons whatsoever because without LeBron they had no team. Lol.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Double J

    why would us kobe folk need to defend this page? it’s all lebron smack in my eyes

  • http://www.slamonline.com rich

    is all the subject matter online yet? i wanna know what hes gonna talk about it should be interesting because hes played with or against everyone there is.

  • Andy

    So… LeBron deserves a coach of the year award! Move over Bill Russell :p

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    This is all just confirmation too what we already know.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I honestly hope Bron isn’t getting away with that sh*t in Miami, although the simple fact dude rocked a headband last season proves Riley’s gone soft when it comes to Bron.
    Also, Deltone West is the man!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    You already know the same thing has been going on in MIA with Wade and now Bron since Eric Spoelstra took over. Why listen to a guy that you have zero respect for?

  • LA Huey

    I heard Riley was going to continue to disallow headbands but Eddie House was refusing to sign unless he lifted the ban.

  • Douggie

    Ok..now I understand why Delonte was f&%#ing LeBrons Mom…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    First guy to wear a headband for the Heat was JO. Get your facts straight, kiddies.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    JO(Enormous Dome) and Lebron(hairline) were medical exemptions. House is the one that actually broke the headband rule.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • http://www.slamonline.com house

    I don’t even wear a headban…… oh wait my bad.

  • MLK4Life

    Did Kobe do something to you? Why so much disdain for him and those who appreciate his game?
    I’ll also say that Shaq is creating a lot of drama with this book and ultimately, he will be the one looking strange when Kobe, LeBron and Mike Brown say absolutely nothing. In the end, Kobe, LeBron and Mike win.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^^LOL… You do know that Eboy was the girl in Colorado. Right?

  • MLK4Life

    @LakeShow That makes sense then brother because he’s out of control.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think Shaq already did all the winning he’s interested in doing. Now he is just staying relevant, he doesn’t give a damn how he’s perceived. He obviously looks kind of bad releasing this book, and honestly Kobe is going to end up looking better from it. But it’s irrelevant, we already know about these guys’ characters. Shaq is an attention whore who is obsessed with attention. Kobe is an uber competitive *sshole. LeBron is an egotistical narcissist. Who cares.

  • bike

    Notice that Shaq isn’t saying anything about Phil Jackson. That’s because Jackson has revealed to a select few that Shaq suffered from fecal incontinence. It sometimes happened in games. Think about it. You are trying to box out a guy the size of a Texas longhorn and all of a sudden he craps on your shin.

  • blakos

    How much is Shaq paying you SLAM to promote this book. There is no doubt that I am buying it!!!

  • LA Huey

    nbk got it right.

  • Josh

    Before you succeed, you must first fail.. How many times? Are we just completely pushing the Cle-Sas failure out of our minds? Because saying that was a fail would be an understatement.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    “One must fail as many times as it takes to then succeed”- Shaqfucious

  • robb

    Brown was coach of the year because of Lebron, he was the one who led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their best regular season, Mike knows it, what was he gonna say to him? he made him successful, not vice versa, Lebron made Mo an All Star too. Mike Brown is the type of coach no superstar would listen to, this is not a surprise. Lebron didn’t listen, Kobe won’t listen, but maybe Kobe will be more willing to cooperate because he’s older and wiser now.

  • ChipS

    nbk right on the money….. Shaq going at everybody, I think I might be next lol

  • LA Huey

    Mo became and All-Star because of injuries to actual All-Stars and this silly idea that people have that a team can’t be among the best in the league without more than one All-Star.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    “Fail seven times, succeed eight”

  • dao

    weird how shaq says that mike told him, “before you succeed, you must first fail.” that’s a good quote (I guess), but that quote is not relevant in lebron’s career thus far; there is a more appropriate quote for the Lebron situation: “It is better to try and fail than to not try at all”

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    The Big Tattle-tale.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @nbk – No, actually, the opposite is true. In twenty years nobody with think of Shaq as a petty, payback-oriented storyteller trying to stay relevant – they’ll remember the stories as evidence of Kobe being self-absorbed and LeBron checking out.

  • http://Slamonline.com rocksinmypants

    I love Kobe. Greatest ever. Shaqs lying. Lebrons the devil. Who’s this Michael Jordan character?

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe was not getting traded, Jerry West brought him in and he was the future. Shaq underachieved his whole career, writing a tell all boy like a punk femaleboy and trying to come off like a gentlemen at the same time. Shaq needs to shut up and be the big Kevin Hart on TNT, which is becoming more like Saturday Night Live than a basketball TV show. Cwebb getting hosed is wrong and I will catch this wack book on amazon.com for 5 dollars 3 months from now. BOOK IT!!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    This book is not going to make a mark on anything 20 years from now. That is absurd. And naive

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    I love how kobe fans call lebron arrogant… I’m a big fan of both guys but still.

  • robb

    Brown probably (and sadly) will fail in LA. Kobe is arrogant, Lebron is an egomaniac, both are incredible players and pretty much uncoachable. Only someone as dumb as Jimmy Buss would give an invisible coach like Mike Brown a shot in LA.

  • jayb

    does not surprise me at all and i am very glad this book is not just a bash kobe book..thank g-d! i am kinda over the “feud” if they cool i am cool..that is more annoying than the drama after the kimmy k divorse…drama..drama, and more drama!

  • Feez22

    … when your offensive gameplan is pass the ball to lebron and get out of the goddamn way well… why the hell should people listen to you? now listen… i think lebron should have listened to mike. Thats his coach and this and that… w/e. However, mike brown’s offensive gameplan was get the ball to lebron, everyone cut and if lebron cant find the open cutter/ open shooter its 1 on 5. That was their gameplan his whole coaching tenure there. I bet lebron realised what i did… mike brown is a fool of a coach offensively. now his defense was pretty good but… his offensive coaching and command for the team were not good. Not to mention he would blow smoke up lebron’s ass all day. This guy was lebron’s main groupie. Lebron’s main b*tch=mike brown. Lets be HONEST. LEBRON WAS THE COACH OF THAT TEAM.

  • Feez22

    & mike brown may fail in L.A. but it will bring kobe what he wanted…a coach that will LET him go 1 on 5 all game. The funny thing about it though is that kobe going 1 on 5 wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone but kobe. lebron’s 1 on 5 play in cleveland created a false all star (mo williams) false hope (2 60+ win seasons, trip to the finals which if flip saunders had a backbone would have never happened) and a false “good team” (there was a stat up before the 2009-2010 season that said a team with no 2nd star with a PER over 16 has never won a championship… realise mo williams and jamison’s PER were below that. he didnt even have a legit 2nd option there. I dunno… that cavs team was just false. Heck… throw in the fact that lebron became a fake in the 2010 playoffs. Mike brown will be kobe’s b*tch but i think this ends like RUDY T’s stint.

  • Feez22

    i know this is off topic but speaking of flip saunders… imo he is one of the biggest TOOLS of a head coach i have ever seen.

  • Justin

    Did The Seed really say that Shaq underachieved his whole career? What a moron

  • sc

    And as long as we’re praising Mike Brown’s defense, let’s not forget he had Mike Malone on the bench, the same guy who ran NO’s most improved defense last season.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @nbk – That doesn’t even make sense.
    Oh, the internet. How I love you.

  • http://cnnsi.com Da “U”

    A tell all book means you tell all. Why is Shaq only telling other people business? I guess he was Mr. Perfect. Everywhere Shaq went, he had issuses. Orlando, L.A., Miami, etc. I guess he won’t tell us about how he was out there cheating on his wife, but this is a tell all book. Shaq, don’t go away mad, just go away.


    What’s Shaq really saying that anyone who knows sports especially basketball doesn’t already know? The star players are worth more than the coach. Of course the coaches cater to them. Kobe, Lebron, Dwight, Jordan, and even Big Hypocrite himself. Well in his prime. Shaq is just trying to make some money and break every player’s code in the book seeing as he is retired and does not have to see these guys in the locker room. Shaq is and always was a hated. Don’t let that goofiness fool you. He is a hater. Hates on kobe, lebron, Dwight with that whole “he’s not original with the superman name”. Someone please tell shaq that he didn’t create superman. It’s not his brand and he needs to go sit down stop making cameos in books like Superhead: Confessions of a video Vixen. Isn’t it time for this man to finally go get fitted for that over size “sheriff” uniform he kept talking about while he was playing. Run a lap, Eat a burger….do something except writing books Shaq-fu. That is all.

  • RedRum

    So let me get this straight. Kobe did not listen to Jax, who already had 6 rings with the Bulls. He will listen to Brown, who by what Shaq says was Lebron’s biatch?? Oh dear, this season is going to be really funny for the Lakers

  • ClydeSays

    Shaq just comes off looking like more of an a$$ than he already was. If anything, he’s raising Delonte West’s profile.

  • Rainman

    @ Justin: AS much as i agree Seed is a moron, shaq DID underachieve, he had a chance to be LEGIT the Best Big man EVER. Had he worked to stay in shape, and actually work on his free throws? game over. He just relied on natural talent to get him through, but oh man what a natural talent it was very clearly.

  • adrian

    Kobe has 5 NBA King rings, Shaq has 1 LESS, Lebron “Quing” James has Zero. Can Youuuuuu Dig It

  • Unclelukenc

    LeBron is a choke artist. Kobe can’t win without Shaq. The diesel speaking truth. It’s proven! Look it up!

  • Unclelukenc

    LeBron is a choke artist. Kobe can’t win without Shaq. The diesel speaking truth. It’s proven! Look it up!

  • Yesse

    The Seed, how many centers have averaged 29.7 points per game in the 20th century? Only Shaq. As a matter of fact he is the most achieved center in the 20th century so far and looking at the centers in the league, he will stay number one on that list for many years.

  • http://google D

    Hey Shaq the original super man is Kurt Rambis

  • Yessir

    cool story bro. tell it again!
    there’s no news so someone reading through Shaq’s book decides to pull some quotes? interview the man himself!

  • http://twitter.com/PLYnWINnLAUF cJ

    No one wanted him to leave Cleveland. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is Mike Brown didn’t demand respect. Always have the respect of your players, if nothing else. If LeBron wanted to be a diva then they should’ve let him go sooner.
    But you just can’t deny the fact that he’s talented.
    And you guys saying that Kobe is better than Shaq, GAMES GET FIXED!!! The NBA wants higher ratings so they let the star players get to the Finals.
    Kings vs. Lakers
    Heat vs. Bulls
    Lakers vs. Mavs
    I think you can think of at LEAST 3 more off the top of your head. You know, the games that just DO NOT make sense.


    Shaq is jealous that CLE cared more about Bron than him. simples like meercats

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    Shaq sounds scorned.

  • dj.

    it seems can’t shut the F up.. He never learned how to play basketball.. still doesnt know what a pick and roll is..abdul rouff knew shaq couldn’t play.. that’s why he didn’t give him the ball at LSU.. shaq was a big punk.. let charles whip his big azz in a game..if i was 7-1 i would have used Shaq up.. he still sucks..lol

  • Joe Black

    Never ceases to amaze, the delusional lunacy these Kobe haters make up. Jackson never had the authority to trade Bryant. He would have been laughed out of town if he ever threatened that.

    Let’s take a look at facts instead. After Ben Wallace and Elden Campbell punked Shaq’s fat lazy azz in ’04; it was Phil and Shaqueenie that got booted, not Kobe. Hate always blinds idiots, try to grasp some reality for a change.