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Cavaliers Links Roundup: Reactions to the firing of Mike Brown

A semiweekly offseason guide to what people elsewhere on the internet are saying about the Cavs.


The reactions to yesterday's decision by the Cleveland Cavaliers to fire head coach Mike Brown (again) were somewhat mixed. We certainly have plenty of varied opinions here at Fear the Sword, and now here's a snapshot of what some other people are saying.

Andrew at WFNY makes a good point about Brown only succeeding when he has the right players:

"I've never held my admiration for Mike Brown a secret. I think he's a pretty good coach with one of the best defensive schemes I've ever seen. With the right kind of players, his coaching style and philosophies can be really successful. However, Mike Brown's successes and failures in large part depend on him having exactly the right pieces. He's never been one to adapt his philosophy to the players he has."

The PD's Bill Livingston, who supports the firing, thinks credit for the team's improvement belongs to David Griffin, rather than Brown:

"What emotional or competitive growth that occurred might well be due to newly promoted David Griffin. The new general manager realizes you have to score often these days. His emphasis on positive reinforcement was an attempt to change the attitude and culture of a team that sometimes barely tried."

Josh at Real Cavs Fans also supports the change:

"So Mike Brown leaves the franchise with best winning percentage of any Cavalier head coach and they only coach to take a team to the NBA Finals. While those don't seem like fireable offenses, I do believe that this was the right move for the franchise. In fact, I don't think it was the right move to hire him back for a second stint with the team."

ESPN's Bradford Doolittle saw Brown as a bad fit with this roster (sorry, you'll need an ESPN Insider account for this one):

"Brown was brought in to establish a defensive identity for a team that had finished 27th in efficiency on that end two seasons in a row. Cleveland did climb nine spots to 18th, but that wasn't nearly enough to offset an offense that has finished 22nd or worse every season since James left town. The Cavs gave up too many 3s, always an issue with a Brown defense, didn't force turnovers -- another Brown staple -- and didn't contest shots as well as Brown's teams have in the past."

ESPN's Marc Stein says that the team's GM job was actually an attractive one:

"But now you know why the Cavs' GM job, for all the skepticism (and worse) Gilbert routinely attracts, appealed to many candidates beyond Griffin. The Cavs not only have the mercurial Irving in place to try to (re)build around but also an owner who's willing to spend like few of his peers."

Kirk at WFNY offers a defense of Mike Brown:

"Brown was handed a roster that lacked size in both the backcourt and frontcourt as well as defensive prowess, a bad combination. Only an undrafted rookie (Delly), an aging incumbent (Varjeao), and a one-dimensional quasi-rotational player (Gee) provided any sort of consistent defensive effort. Brown had to change his bread and butter of big men hard-showing on pick-and-roll action. Nobody seemed to want to buy into a defensive system that time and again has proven itself worthy of 50-win seasons, first round playoff victories, and keeping the team competitive. Some of that certainly falls on Brown's shoulders, no doubt, but at the end of the day, the players need to own some of that blame as well."

Nate at Cavs: the blog also thought the firing was unfair:

"But Brown showed more versatility in his lineups than he has in his career: frequently going three-guard to push the pace and get shooting on the floor. I do wish that we had seen Tyler Zeller get more of TT's minutes, and that Brown would have trusted C.J. Miles more, but given the roster limitations, I can't say that many coaches could have done much better. As a guy who's coached 10-year-old girls can attest to, coaching young people is really hard. Sometimes those players just don't do what you tell them to. Mike Brown can't make 22-year-olds play like 27-year-olds."

Business Insider reminds us that Brown is going to continue to be well-compensated:

"Depending on how much Cleveland owes him for that fifth year and how much of that $7 million the Lakers still have to pay out, it's safe to assume that Brown is looking at somewhere north of $15 million in future salary from teams that fired him."

More Than a Fan's Wade Foley lists some potential replacements:

"Hoiberg and Ollie are two college coaches with NBA experience who have been linked to several NBA coaching vacancies lately. Hoiberg has Iowa State playing a fast-tempo and putting up a lot of points on offense. He seems to fit what Griffin is looking for and I would be surprised if he wasn't on the Cavs radar. Ollie just led Uconn to a national championship, but with seemingly several large offers on the table, he and the Cavs are an unlikely pairing."

And finally, over at Right Down Euclid, Chris Manning and Trevor Magnotti go fairly in depth on several potential replacements, including Mark Price, Alvin Gentry, and George Karl.