NBA News: Cleveland Cavaliers Fire Mike Brown;
Will LeBron James Return To Cavs?
Well, this may not come as a major shocker to those who have followed the NBA Playoffs 2010 closely, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have fired coach Mike Brown after the team was ousted by the Boston Celtics in the second round, ESPN is reporting. Will this move please LeBron James? Only time will tell I suppose.
After having previously made it to the 2007 NBA finals as well as the Eastern Conference finals last year â€” and losing both â€” the Cavs took a step back this year by getting upset in six games to the Celtics. Apparently that slight regression was enough to send last season's NBA Coach of the Year packing despite the Cavs winning the most games (66) of any team in the league during the regular season this year.
Brown led the Cavs to a 272-138 overall record, or a .663 winning percentage, in five seasons. He also guided the team to five consecutive postseasons.
While Cleveland did crack the NBA finals three years ago, the Cavaliers fell to the San Antonio Spurs. Last season in the conference finals, the Orlando Magic ousted the Cavs from playoffs.
The Cavaliers have yet to release a statement confirming the firing, but, if they did can Brown, they had to make the move Sunday in order to save $4.5 million, ESPN reports.
Part of the team's failures this postseason, in my estimation, was due to the poor rotations deployed by Brown and not making good use of his bench. Guys like Jamario Moon, Leon Powe, Daniel Gibson and J.J. Hickson weren't used nearly enough and could have presented some spark off the pine.
Now, two questions remain: Will James be back in a Cavs uniform next season? If so, who will be his coach?
If James was smart, he would stay put in Cleveland and try to make good on his promise to bring the city a championship. However, I am not sure that is going to happen since everyone and their brother is working behind the scenes to get LBJ in New York, Chicago, or New Jersey, to name a few possible teams in the running.
Meanwhile, I highly doubt Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari will take the job, and, if he doesn't, I'm not sure who off the top of my head would be the likest candidate to fill the void left by Brown. I guess who coaches in Cleveland will depend largely on if James wants to stay put or ship out after July 1. Stay tuned...
For those interested, here is a previous report about Brown's job status.
*Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters.