Remember a few years ago when the Cleveland Cavaliers decided that Mike Brown was not the guy to take their franchise to the next level and unceremoniously dumped him? Yeah, looks like they’re regretting that decision.
After Byron Scott was fired a few days ago, the Cavs started looking for a new head coach in earnest, and their former head coach is firmly in the mix. Brown reportedly met with owner Dan Gilbert on Sunday and there is a very good chance he winds up back in Cleveland. Brown was fired by the Los Angeles Lakers after opening the 2012-13 season (his second with the team) with a 1-4 record.
While rumors have swirled about Phil Jackson heading to Cleveland, Cavs fans shouldn’t get their hopes up on that one. Jackson likes to be in the news and likes to get his name tossed around for jobs, but there is virtually no way he ends up in Cleveland. If you ask the right people (the ones close to Jackson who actually know what he’s thinking) the only place he has expressed interest in returning to is the Lakers.
Brown has a career record of 314-167, and posted 66- and 61-win seasons during his time with the Cavs. He was the NBA’s Coach of the Year during the 2008-09 season, and was the head man in Cleveland from 2005-10.
If the Cavs want Brown back they may have to move quickly, as the Atlanta Hawks are also supposedly interested in him as well. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry and Brown are close friends from their time together in Cleveland, and current Atlanta head coach Larry Drew will likely be gone this offseason.
It would be an incredible reversal from Gilbert if he brought back Brown. Many felt that when Brown was fired back in 2010, the Cavs made the move to appease LeBron James during his summer of free agency. James ended up departing for the Miami Heat anyway, and the chose Scott as Brown’s replacement.
In three years with the Cavs, Scott posted records of 19-63 (2010-11), 21-45 (2011-12) and 24-58 (2012-13). So the team improved every year but not by much, and still remains firmly out of the playoffs and in the draft lottery.
Brown would be a step up from Scott, but Cleveland’s ownership can’t expect a miracle, no matter who comes aboard.