On Wednesday afternoon the Cleveland Cavaliers made the news official: Mike Brown is back as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cavs fans are likely to be divided on the decision, and it is a debate that won't go away. I didn't want Byron Scott to get fired, and I didn't want Mike Brown to get fired three years ago. I like the signing. The press conference held announcing the move was, in my opinion, a little weird. This sort of thing, with the same owner who fired a coach re-hiring him, is strange. I don't believe there will be unnecessary baggage that makes the situation uncomfortable, outside of the sizable population of fans who really hate the hire. It is a new front office, and aside from Anderson Varejao (who has played a total of 81 NBA games since Brown left) it is a new group of players.
Dan Gilbert kicked off the press conference by saying "Welcome to Mike Brown 2.0", and for fans who didn't like Brown's adjustments, rotations, or offense the first time around, I am sure this is more than enough to calm your fears. It isn't? Oh, well, then I suppose this is still awkward. Brown said that the theme of the year is going to be "commitment to the journey" which sounds like a plea for patience. There will certainly be bumps along the road this upcoming season, and Brown knows the team will have to be much better at weathering the storm than they were this past season.
Dan Gilbert explicitly called firing Brown three years ago a mistake, though it seems most people still think he was right to do it back then. My feelings that summer were mostly of despair. I didn't think LeBron was going to come back, and I doubted any other coach would be as good for the Cavaliers as Mike Brown. I didn't like the firing then, but I believe I was in the minority. One fun part of the press conference was Zydrunas Ilgauskas coming up, and Chris Grant noted that Big Z is actually now Brown's boss. Brown laughed and said that it was going to take some getting used to.
While it has been reported by Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico that Jamahl Mosley will be retained as an assistant, and that John Kuester and Kyle Triggs will be brought back, Brown indicated in the press conference that he has yet to reach out to anyone. There is some hope that the Canton Charge's head coach, Alex Jensen, will find a spot on Brown's bench after winning the NBDL's Coach of the Year award. If you read Sam Vecenie's post on here about Brown's offenses in Cleveland, you know that Kuester would be a real asset to the organization. Bernie Bickerstaff, who has been a head coach before in the league, is thought of as a possibility to come on board in an advisory role.
Many Cavs fans, including myself, think this upcoming year is the time to get out of the lottery and start winning some basketball games. Mike Brown was not ready to commit to this goal just yet, saying that the team has a long ways to go. Dan Gilbert said that the last three years have been difficult and painful. He isn't wrong. I like this hire, I like our young players, and I like our cap space. Improvement, with some health, should happen. Let me know if you heard something I didn't.