What's old is new again in Cleveland as the Cavaliers officially hired Mike Brown as their head coach on Wednesday. Public perception of the move has been lukewarm, but Cavs owner Dan Gilbert couldn't be happier.
According to the Cavs' website, Gilbert believes that Brown will do great things for the franchise during his second tenure, and he feels as though Brown is the perfect fit for a youthful Cavaliers team.
I am more than excited about Mike Brown’s return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mike has done nothing but win in this league since he was a first-year assistant many years ago. He is going to instill a much-needed defensive-first philosophy in our young and talented team that is going to serve as our foundation and identity as we continue down the path of building the kind of franchise that competes at a championship level for many years to come, said Gilbert.
Brown was obviously very successful during his first stint in Cleveland, but LeBron James is no longer in the fold. It will take a full team effort for the Cavs to take a leap forward during the first season of Brown's second run.
While Brown hasn't always had a significant amount of playoff success, his regular-season record speaks for itself. In five seasons with the Cavs, he went to the playoffs every year, including an NBA Finals appearance against the San Antonio Spurs at the end of the 2006-07 season.
Brown also led Cleveland to consecutive 60-win seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-10, and was named NBA Coach of the Year at the conclusion of a 2008-09 season that saw the Cavaliers go 66-16. Brown was fired after the 2009-10 season as the Cavs lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
It didn't take long for Brown to catch on as he was chosen to succeed Phil Jackson as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. L.A. had an up-and-down season in 2011-12 as it qualified for the postseason, but lost in the second round. Brown was then fired this season after starting just 1-4.
While Brown may be a retread hire, he has a history of success in Cleveland and should bring a certain amount of discipline to a young team that boasts promising players such as Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson among others.
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