According to a report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer, the Cleveland Cavaliers are actively looking to replace recently fired head coach Byron Scott with a well-known figure from the franchise's past.
That man is Mike Brown, the head coach of the Cavs who went 272-138 in five seasons with the team from 2005-10.
Per Boyer's report:
The Cavaliers are interested in rehiring former coach Mike Brown to replace Byron Scott, a longtime NBA insider told The Plain Dealer today, and may move quickly for fear that other NBA teams will court Brown.
Brown was fired before LeBron James bolted to the Miami Heat during the summer of 2010, and he took a year off from coaching before taking over the Los Angeles Lakers job prior to the start of the 2011 season.
He went 41-25 with the Lakers in his first season and was subsequently fired just five games (1-4 start) into his second season (via ESPN), paving the way for the hiring of Mike D'Antoni.
Considered a defensive specialist, Brown led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007, where they would lose to the San Antonio Spurs in four games.
In addition to his sparkling regular season record and playoff appearances, Brown was the 2008-09 NBA Coach of the Year, leading the team to a franchise-best 66-16 mark.
According to a report from the Plain Dealer, Brown has not yet been contacted by the team but would listen if a phone call were to come through.
As reported by Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio on Twitter, Brown is part of a coach wish list that also includes 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson, who reportedly has interest in returning in some capacity (via ESPN) to the NBA:
Cavs still putting together list of coaching candidates and as @foxsportsoh reported first yesterday, Mike Brown on it. So is Phil Jackson.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) April 19, 2013
Cleveland's insistence on moving quickly likely stems from the desire to establish some chemistry between the incoming coaching staff and budding star Kyrie Irving. The young point guard becomes a free agent in the summer of 2015.
Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk notes that there is no need to rush a hiring decision as crucial as the head coach, in large part because you want Irving to be part of the decision-making process:
There really is no reason to rush this process and decision. Yes, there is some draft prep to do but that’s more a GM thing than something you have to have the coach in the room for. There is no reason to rush this.
Also, he doesn’t get to make the decision, but if Kyrie Irving is your franchise player, you keep him in the loop on the decision-making. You want to keep your star happy and put a team around him so he doesn’t look to bolt someday.
If Cleveland indeed suspects that there are other teams (Philadelphia and Detroit both have coaching vacancies) keen on adding Brown to the mix, Brown could have major leverage over his former team with a return trip in sight.