Several sources, including ESPN.com, are reporting that the Cavaliers have indeed fired Mike Brown after 5 seasons. Brown was the Cavaliers most successful coach, in terms of winning percentage, and compiled 272 wins over his 5 seasons, which included trips to the post-season each and every year.
Just one season removed from Brown's selection as NBA Coach of the Year, the Cavaliers were beaten by the Boston Celtics in the 2nd Round this season. Considered an upset, the series included home blowouts and mysterious play by the Cavaliers, specifically LeBron James, that led many to suspect that Brown had lost his team.
According to Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer, there was some dissension within the locker room regarding Brown, especially down the stretch -
Some Cavs' players, including LeBron James, also seemed to lose patience with Brown after some of his adjustments and rotations didn't work against the Celtics in the playoffs.
However, James is not believed to have made a personal push with management for a coaching change. He left it to the front office to make the final decision.
Brown seemed to struggle with his rotations after having to incorporate Shaquille O'Neal back into the team in the playoffs after O'Neal missed the final six weeks of the season. He started a lineup in the first game of the playoffs that he hadn't used all season and the turbulence from multiple players changing roles appeared to upset the balance of the team.
Those problems plus, according to sources, some disagreement over some game plans for playoff games with some of the team leaders eventually led to some discord in the locker room during the Celtics series.
The Cavaliers next move is going to be a tricky one. With so much uncertainty heading into the summer, it is going to be difficult for the Cavaliers to get a Coach with a better resume than Brown without knowing if LeBron James will be back.
Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, this is a move the team almost had to make. While I felt it could be a good idea to hold onto Brown as an insurance policy, the Cavaliers did the noble thing by letting Brown go while several NBA Coaching jobs were still available.