Dan Gilbert is a smart man. We know this because he didn’t listen to the hoople heads and fire Mike Brown on Friday in an emotional, reactionary decision. Instead, Gilbert came out and said he will take his time and evaluate everyone before making a decision.
And really, what’s the rush? Do the Cavs have a game this week that we don’t know about? Or course not. Plus, it’s not like the list of available coaches is long or distinguished: does Mike Woodson, Lawrence Frank or Vinny Del Negro get anyone excited? Well, those are at the top of the list of the current coaches who are looking for work.
Thankfully Gilbert is acting like what he is – the responsible adult in the room. What would the Cavs gain by firing Brown now? The only reason would be to find a scapegoat to appease the mob.
Brown deserves his share of the blame for the Cavs loss to Boston – but just his share, no more no less.
Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy hit the nail on the head when talking to ESPN:
“Mike Brown’s one of the most successful coaches that there’s been in this league for a long time,” Van Gundy said. “But it becomes scapegoat time and you’re not going to see many people other than coaches stepping up and taking the responsibility. The players are absolved. It’s sad, but it’s the way it goes. None of it is surprising.
“Mike’s been in a very difficult situation, again because the media created the expectations that that was a team that couldn’t lose, and so when they did, he pays the price. Instead of people maybe just saying, ‘The media was wrong.” … the inevitability of it. The ‘Win a ring for the king,’ and everything, it just made it inevitable that if it didn’t go well, Mike would be the one to pay the price. I don’t know if that’s fair, but that’s the way it is, that’s business.”
So we really have to question if the Cavs should fire Brown at all.
Here’s a small sampling of what Mike Brown has done:
- Won the third-most games in team history with 272 wins;
- Won the most postseason games in team history with 42 wins;
- Coached the team to the playoffs five straight years;
- Coached the team past the first round of the playoffs every year;
- Posted at least 45 wins five straight years, the first time in team history;
- Posted back-to-back 60-win seasons;
And here’s an even smaller sample of what Mike Brown hasn’t done:
If that’s enough to be fired, then just about every coach in the NBA should be canned immediately. Since 1984, only eight coaches have won NBA Championships: Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Chuck Daley, Gregg Popovich, Rudy Tomjonavich, Doc Rivers, Larry Brown and KC Jones. That’s it. Eight guys in almost 30 years.
As we’ve learned all to well in Cleveland, firing a coach is the easy part. Just look at the Browns. And if the Cavs do fire Brown, then what? The national media has read the tea leaves and come up with the ridiculous conclusion that John Calipari should be the Cavs next coach.
Oh really? Pop quiz, hotshot: What do the following have in common?
- Lon Kruger
- P.J. Carlesimo
- Rick Pitino
- Tim Floyd
- John Calipari
- Leonard Hamilton
They are all college coaches who moved to the NBA and failed, miserably. The last college-bred coach to win the NBA championship was Paul Westhead, who as an NBA rookie led the Lakers to their 1979-80 title after taking over the team in midseason.
Do you really believe a team based in Cleveland is going to buck those odds? Are you ready to gamble the next 3-4 years of the franchise on that?
Thankfully, the Cavs are run by a highly successful businessman who doesn’t make decisions based on emotions, or fear or to appease the mob.
As fans we couldn’t ask for, or stand for, anything less.