Firing Mike Brown was the right decision for the Cavaliers

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

David Griffin wants to build a team with an up-tempo offense. He needs a coach who will go along with that.

When the news of Mike Brown's firing by the Cleveland Cavaliers broke today, many people were surprised. Some people were disappointed.

I was neither surprised nor disappointed.

For weeks, indications from people covering the team have been that the person hired to be the full-time General Manager would have the power to decide Brown's fate. It really shouldn't be a surprise to anybody that David Griffin would want to hire somebody other than Brown.

I don't think this was necessarily a referendum on the job that Brown did this past season, it was more about the kind of team Griffin wants to build going forward. It's no secret that Griffin, who had spent most of his professional life working for the Phoenix Suns, likes up-tempo offense. His one move after taking over for Chris Grant was trading for Spencer Hawes, a big man who runs the pick and roll and spreads the floor with his shooting. That's a David Griffin-type of player.

It is clear that Mike Brown was not a David Griffin-type of coach.

And that's just fine. If Dan Gilbert trusts Griffin to oversee the team's front office, then he has to trust him to choose the person who will coach the team he puts together.

Obviously it is not ideal that Kyrie Irving will be playing for his third coach in four seasons. Continuity does matter. But keeping a coach in place simply for the sake of continuity is shortsighted. If Griffin didn't think that Brown was the right fit, it was only a matter of time before a change was made.

As for the job that Brown did last season, there's no question that the Cavs failed to meet most people's expectations. Brown doesn't necessarily deserve the entirety of the blame for that. The Andrew Bynum signing wasn't his fault; Anthony Bennett's historically bad season wasn't his fault; the fact that Chris Grant built a team that didn't really fit certainly wasn't his fault. And to his credit, the team did show significant improvement defensively.

Still, there wasn't enough progress from any of the young core of players to make me feel good about Brown going forward. There were also too many failed inbounds plays, and too many broken possessions in the final minute of games. I know full well how impressive Brown's record as a head coach is, but my eyes always told me that he was in over his head. Not just last season, but also during the five seasons when he coached LeBron James.

Now, Griffin has the power to build the team he wants, led by the coach he chooses. I have no idea if he will be successful. But I have a strong hunch that the Cavs will at least be fun to watch.

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