Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

April 23, 2013

NBA: Brown remains top candidate for Cavs' job

CLEVELAND — When the Cavaliers hired Mike Brown as their coach in 2005, owner Dan Gilbert first talked to Phil Jackson about coaching in Cleveland.

Eight years later, that same scenario appears to be playing out again.

Brown remains the leading candidate to return to Cleveland and replace Byron Scott, who was fired last week following his third losing season with the Cavaliers. On Saturday, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Brown was open to reuniting with a franchise he led to five straight playoff appearances and the NBA finals.

Brown met on Sunday night with Gilbert, who fired him in 2010 after the Cavs were ousted by Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It's not clear where the meeting took place, but Brown has been in the area recently because he's moving his family back to Cleveland - a decision he made long before Scott was fired.

WKYC-TV first reported Brown and Gilbert were going to have dinner together. It's not known if Brown, who went 272-138 with Cleveland, was offered the job.

Gilbert has always held Brown in high regard. He hired him as his first coach with the Cavs - not long after interviewing Jackson - and Brown grew from a relatively unknown assistant with Indiana to the league's top coach.

Of course, it helped that LeBron James was on Cleveland's roster, but Brown's defense-first philosophy transformed the Cavs from competitive to title contenders.

The Cavaliers are not commenting during their search, which began almost immediately after Scott was fired last Thursday.

Messages seeking comment were left for Brown and general manager Chris Grant.

There's a comfort factor for both Brown and the Cavs if they decide to get back together. The Cavs know him, he knows them and except for James being elsewhere, Brown would inherit a similar situation to the one he received in '05 when the Cavs went 42-40 and Gilbert fired Paul Silas with 18 games left in the season.

In Kyrie Irving, the Cavs have a bona fide All-Star on the rise and potential franchise player to build around. They also have a young nucleus of talent, a treasure chest of draft picks, salary-cap space and Gilbert's willingness to spend to win.

Those assets - and Gilbert's deeper-than-Lake Erie pockets - could be enough to lure Jackson out of retirement. The 11-time NBA champion has told people he's itching to get back into the pro game in some capacity. Lakers fans pleaded with him to come back during a recent Staples Center appearance when Shaquille O'Neal's jersey was retired.

FOX Sports Ohio reported the Cavs reached out to Jackson over the weekend.

Jackson was approached by Gilbert in 2005, and there's little doubt the billionaire would gauge the Zen Master's interest before talking to any other coaches.

If Brown is indeed their top choice, and he fits every criteria Grant listed last week in seeking a new coach, the Cavs may not want to drag their feet. Brown could be coveted by several teams with openings, but none of them appears to be a better situation than the one he would have in Cleveland.

Brown's firing in Cleveland three years ago came after he led the Cavs to a 61-win season. However, the team's failure to win a title forced Gilbert to make some rash moves to try and keep James from leaving as a free agent. While Brown is considered one of the game's top defensive coaches, his offense was often stagnant and widely criticized. Gilbert removed Brown to appease James as much as anything, but the decision backfired when James bolted anyway for Miami.

The Cavs have several more names on their list of coaching candidates.

There may be no need to get beyond Brown's.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0016web.jpg District Champions!

    District champions ... Enough said!
    Claremore freshman forward Olivia Maulsby converted a game-winning header with 1:22 remaining to lead the No. 4-ranked Lady Zebras past No. 5 Skiatook, 2-1 Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference play at Lantow Field.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • DSC_0433web.jpg SOCCER: Bulldogs spoil ‘Senior Night’ for Zebras

    Claremore senior goalkeeper Sam Lillie made the most of his first and last varsity start Tuesday night against Skiatook on Senior Night at Lantow Field.
    For 40 minutes, Lillie was flawless in the goal, allowing only one goal and making several tenacious stops against the fiery Bulldogs.
    The second-half, however, told a different story as No. 3 Skiatook scored four goals and enjoyed a 5-0 win over the No. 15 Zebras.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Berryhill’s White strikes out 17, tosses no-hitter over No. 1 Verdigris

    Top-ranked Class 3A Verdigris got White-washed by 4A No.3 Berryhill on Tuesday night.
    In a battle of 2013 state champions, Chiefs’ ace Nick White — a future Oklahoma State pitcher —  fired a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts, igniting a 5-0 victory over the Cardinals.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stilwell’s Lea signs with RSU men's basketball

    Rogers State University men's basketball head coach Justin Barkley announced the addition of standout center Matt Lea for the 2014-15 season.

    April 23, 2014

  • HANSLOVANweb.jpg SOCCER: No. 2 Lady Cards roll past Oologah

    Verdigris senior forward Caitlyn Hanslovan tallied another ‘hat trick’ in her illustrious Lady Cardinals soccer career Tuesday night at Oologah.
    The three goals by Hanslovan soared the second-ranked Lady Cardinals past Oologah, 5-0 in non-conference play at Mustangs Stadium.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 5 Claremore HS tennis players earn all-conference

    The Claremore High School boys and girls varsity tennis programs had five players receive Metro Lakes all-conference recognition.

    April 23, 2014

  • SOFTBALL: Horner's RBI-single lifts No. 15 Tulsa past OSU, 1-0

    Catherine Horner's RBI single in the sixth inning and Aimee Creger's three-hit shutout gave No. 15 University of Tulsa (42-5) a 1-0 win over Oklahoma State (24-21) at Cowgirl Stadium on Wednesday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • ORU's Romano named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list

    Oral Roberts University junior reliever Jordan Romano has been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year mid-season watch list, the organization announced on Wednesday.

    April 24, 2014

  • SOFTBALL: OU's Stevens tosses one-hitter past North Texas

    Sophomore Kelsey Stevens was just three outs away from her first no-hitter as a Sooner, but a one-hitter was still a fine consolation prize as No. 17/12 Oklahoma shut out North Texas, 3-0, on Wednesday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • OSU women's basketball adds JUCO duo

    Oklahoma State's women's basketball team has signed a pair of junior college players it was announced today by Cowgirl head coach Jim Littell.

    Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College's Roddricka Patton and Rylie Swanson, a product of Northern Oklahoma College-Enid, both signed National Letters of Intent and will join the OSU program for the upcoming season.

    April 24, 2014