The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired Mike Brown, the team announced Monday morning.
The Cavaliers had a midnight deadline Sunday night to fire the head coach or pay him his full $4.5 million salary for next season.
Cleveland was ousted from the playoffs two weeks ago by the Boston Celtics, who upset the NBA's top regular-season team in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert made the decision to fire Brown after an organizational review that began following the Cavs' exit from the playoffs.
While Boston throroughly dominating Orlando makes the Cavs demise look just a little less horrendous, this really shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. Brown was outcoached against the C's and after having back-to-back 60 win seasons with not even a Finals appearence, it was time to part ways.
Brown is what he is. He's a great game planner before the games (I think his early video work comes into play here) but he's never been good during the heat of battle, as it were. I love the work he did with the Cavaliers' defense and, besides from LeBron, that defensive mindset is the reason the Brown is the winningest coach in Cavalier history.
But the offense was his downfall. Now, I'm of the belief that LeBron (and his skill set) is much harder to coach (and play with) than people realize. The fact that the offense still had the same problems five years later doesn't speak well for Coach Mike. I can accept a terrible offense when Eric Snow and Larry Hughes are your starting guards. But with guys like Mo Williams, Delonte West, Antawn Jamison, Shaq, J.J. Hickson and Jamario Moon, the Cavs shouldn't have to work as hard as they did for buckets.
Lord knows who the Cavs will get to replace him. Coach K? Phil Jackson? Um, doubtful. The problem with firing Brown is that he's better than most of the coaching retreads available. I mean, the Sixers just hired Doug Collins (this guy was the Bulls coach for The Shot. He's old. and hasn't won. Anything). All of the coaches with rings (Championship Experience) currently have jobs.
Of course, speaking of The Shot, Lenny Wilkens is available (though I only want Lenny if he (A) owns a time machine and (B) brings the starting five from 88-89 Cavaliers with him).