Blog Entry

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

Posted on: May 24, 2010 2:40 am
Edited on: June 5, 2010 2:16 pm
 
The unraveling of the Cavaliers’ season came to its inevitable conclusion early Monday with a source confirming to CBSSports.com that coach Mike Brown has been fired.

Back-to-back 60-win seasons couldn’t save Brown from the backlash of another premature playoff ouster after the Cavs, with the best record in the league, were eliminated from the playoffs in six games by the Boston Celtics.

By firing Brown, the 2008-09 NBA coach of the year, by Sunday at midnight, the Cavs avoided his $4.5 million salary for next season becoming fully guaranteed. Since he was let go before the deadline, only half of Brown’s salary is guaranteed.

Brown, a strong defensive coach groomed in the successful Spurs organization, will immediately become a candidate for head coaching openings in New Orleans and Atlanta and perhaps elsewhere.

According to a second source familiar with the Cavs' strategy, Brown's ouster was the first -- and most important -- piece of the puzzle that had to be solved before Cleveland could proceed with its plan to persuade LeBron James to return to the Cavs once the free-agent negotiating period begins July 1. Recent reports have indicated that James recused himself from the decision on Brown, but decision makers in the organization were well aware that he was not pleased with the way the team failed to adjust to its opponent's style of play for the second straight postseason. Last season, it was Orlando foiling the Cavs' simplistic defensive rotations. This time, it was Boston shredding the Cavs' defense with Rajon Rondo's dribble penetration and mismatches on the interior, with Kevin Garnett exposing Antawn Jamison for the entire six-game series.

In a telling dose of doom for Brown after the Cavs' ouster in Game 6 of the conference semis, James was noncommittal about Brown and declined to come to his defense publicly when asked. Despite Brown's regular season success, it was only a matter of time before the playoff losses caught up to him. And in Cleveland, where an entire city is bracing for James' anticipated foray into unrestricted free agency, the regular season doesn't matter. Playoffs and championships do.

So with everyone from Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to President Obama urging LeBron to weigh his chances of winning a title in another city, the process of sucking up to James begins anew. What coach would persuade him to stay? Or better yet, what coach and supporting cast would persuade him not to leave?

Despite the Cavs' best efforts to placate him with roster additions that have not worked -- Mo Williams, Shaquille O'Neal, Jamison -- there is a growing belief among those familiar with the situation that James is more open than ever to the possibility that he would be able to find a better supporting cast in Chicago. Several factors independent of the Cavs' playoff collapse have enhanced the Bulls' position. The possibility of playing with Derrick Rose, and the fact that the Bulls have left their coaching job vacant -- with James' buddy, John Calipari, lurking in the wings and with Phil Jackson's contractual situation with the Lakers still unresolved -- have conspired to make the Cavs' job of keeping him even harder.

Step one was firing Brown, whether LeBron was directly involved in the decision or not. The next set of dominoes will begin tumbling almost immediately, with Cleveland engaging in a coaching search and LeBron getting some clarity as to what he'd be returning to if he stayed in Cleveland.

Whether Brown deserved to be fired is hardly the issue. Given the expectations, and what was at stake for James' future, it's hard to argue with the decision. Under those circumstances, you can't bring a team with the best record in the league into the playoffs and lose as thoroughly as the Cavs did and expect to keep your job. All we know for sure, though, is that one shoe has dropped. The big ones -- the franchise-shaping ones -- are coming next.




Comments

Since: May 5, 2010
Posted on: May 24, 2010 7:06 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

CincinnatiFan39- Are you serious. .And the city.What does that have to do with sports teams. The last time I checked Cincy hasnt won an NBA tittle either.Oh thats right no team.Cant take fans away from the Kentucky Wildcats. Bungles no Superbowl trophy's.How's it feel being Paul Browns step-child?I believe without Pete Rose you wouldnt have any series rings either.But when was that 20 years ago?That cat was the 70's player of the decade.Notice when he left the reds were pitiful.That was his team in 1990.Haven't won since. Are you actually calling Cincy a nicer place.Their the same just Cleveland is alot bigger.Lets hope no-one in your family gets real sick and you have to come to the crap-hole Cleveland Clinic to save their life.Then Im sure you'll be on the first bus north praying the crap-hole cleveland Clinic can save them.Are you one of those dudes that came to Cleveland one night got your girl took and beat up and is now bitter?



Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: May 24, 2010 7:03 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

"no way in hell your team should EVER EVER EVER lose 4 straight, otherwise you are not an MVP"

What about when a team like, say, Cleveland with their MVP, wins game 3 in Boston to go up 2-1 and a Cubbie claims what it did in the quote above then should that Cubbie fan never EVER EVER EVER be allowed to post again since that would mean Boston won the series 5-2.  I guess I missed the boat but the NBA playoffs are now a best of 9 it seems.

Maybe it would be more accurate to state facts and say they lost 3 straight which MVP's have been known to do in past series over the years.  You can really tell the true fans on here and seperate them from people who just talk or type just for the sake of doing so.

Additionally, when a poster comes on and says Fisher is better than anyone and comes off like Artest and Kobe are hands down better than LeBron and Jamison then would that fan have zero credibility as each case is debatable and Kobe and LeBron or LeBron and Kobe are 1A and 1B when it comes down to it, a real fan would take either on their team in a heartbeat.

I guess having 27 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists in game 6 means the MVP in question went down without a fight, a triple double without even putting up a fight, wow, what a loser he is.  Heck, one more TO and he would have had a quad, lol!

Someone who doesn't check their facts and posts irrationally ='s not an MVP of these discussion boards!



Since: May 18, 2010
Posted on: May 24, 2010 6:45 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

maybe there waiting on Phil? P.Jackson to cavs that's a thought , i guarantee you they would be paying him whats he is asking for.



Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: May 24, 2010 3:45 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

The Celtics left Cleveland tied 1-1, and lost game three.  However, I agree with your assessment of the Cavs, they certainly did not have the talent that other teams in the NBA have.



Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: May 24, 2010 3:39 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

He has an awfully good record for a coach who just got canned.  Amazing.



Since: Dec 6, 2008
Posted on: May 24, 2010 3:39 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

well the cavs did beat the good teams during the regular season. you have your facts wrong. and 2 of the losses were to atl and boston in the season finales without 4 starters in each. i feel the cavs probl;em was they got outcoached every playoff series. lebron can win some alone but the coach needed to do his homework too and failed to get the job done.



Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: May 24, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

Why blame an individual when the entire Cleveland orginaztion may be at fault.
Like the NY Yankees letting go of Damon and Mitsui. Could be big mistake. What
did they gain.



Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: May 24, 2010 1:26 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

Before you rant about being up 2-0 maybe you should realize that after two games the series was tied 1-1.



Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: May 24, 2010 1:14 pm
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

Long Long overdue. Terrible strategic coach. This had to happen for them to get better. You knew it was coming when the team quit on him.



Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: May 24, 2010 11:38 am
 

Cavs fire Brown; next up, LeBron (UPDATE)

I agree Boston has more talent for a starting five but Pau Gasol has to be in top 5 of both teams but agree on other players


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com