Mike Brown won everything in five years coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers. Everything, that is, except an NBA title. Brown, the most successful coach in franchise history, was fired Monday after failing to win a championship with superstar, and soon-to-be free agent, LeBron James.
Brown’s dismissal had been expected since the Cavs were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs, a stunning exit for a team favored to win it all. In five seasons, Brown, who had one year left on his contract, went 314-177 and was the league’s coach of the year in 2009. He took Cleveland to the postseason every season and led the Cavaliers to their only finals appearance in 2007. But the Cavs, despite having the best regular-season record the past two years, fell short of winning their first title and now face an uncertain future with James, the league’s two-time defending MVP, eligible for free agency and expected to listen to offers from other teams.