Oct 29, 2010
Former Cavs’ Coach Mike Brown Coaching Middle School Football

Five months after the Cleveland Cavaliers fired him as LeBron James’(notes) coach following a disappointing defeat to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Mike Brown has found a new job.

He’s coaching middle school football.

Brown is an assistant coach for the Westlake Lee Burneson Middle School team that his 13-year-old son, Cameron, plays on in Ohio. After being fired by the Cavs, Brown is using this season to spend more time with his wife and two teenage sons. He didn’t pursue opportunities during the summer to return to the NBA as a head coach and turned down an offer to serve as an assistant at St. Mary’s College in California.

“I’m a glorified equipment guy who gets to chest bump and high-five the players, Brown said. The kids still call me coach.”

Yet as much fun as Brown is having with his family, he hopes to return to the NBA next season.

“If the opportunity presents itself, I’d love to be back coaching, he said. The fire to coach is burning, but I also believe in family first. … I wanted to take this opportunity to reconnect with my kids, my wife.”

Brown coached the Cavaliers from 2005-10, taking them to the NBA Finals in 2007, when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. While the Cavaliers had the NBA’s best regular-season record the past two seasons, they underachieved in the playoffs, failing to reach the Finals each time. Brown was let go on May 25, leaving with the franchise’s highest winning percentage after going 232-178 in his five seasons.

The Cavs are paying Brown the $4.5 million he was due this season over the next six years.

While Brown hadn’t talked publicly about his firing until this week, he said he isn’t bitter toward the Cavs.

“I understand the business, Brown said. [Cavaliers owner] Dan Gilbert took a chance on me five years ago with little coaching experience and not being a former player. That opportunity doesn’t happen a lot. It was his team. He had to do what he thought was best for the organization.

“What I would have preferred is for me and [James] to get after it one more year. I thought we were close. At the end of the day, it’s a business and that was a change they were entitled to make.”

While it was speculated James played a role in Brown’s firing, Brown doesn’t believe that to be true. Brown said the two exchanged pleasantries via text message in late June, and he described their relationship as “fine.”

“There wasn’t anything negative between him and me, Brown said. There was nothing between him and me. We had a player-coach relationship. That’s it. Situations like that where you are out early in the playoffs are always hard. There were a lot of ups and downs, strains.

“I had a great time coaching him. I felt like one of the luckiest coaches in the world. … Coaching LeBron was unique in itself. If he’s not the best, he is one of the best to ever play the game.”

Brown said he didn’t watch James announce he was leaving for the Miami Heat during his much-criticized nationally televised special. While admitting he was a “little surprised” about the decision, Brown said he had no problem with James choosing to play for the Heat. He just wishes James would have delivered the news to Cleveland fans with a little more grace.

“I feel for the fans in Cleveland, Brown said. They are so emotionally attached. When anything happens, it’s a big punch in the gut. They take it hard.”

So how good does Brown think the Heat will be with James playing alongside Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes)?

“Obviously, when you have that kind of talent you have a chance to win it, Brown said. They’ll be really good, but there will be questions on both ends of the floor. It takes time to jell. It will take time for coach [Erik] Spoelstra to figure out the right combinations. At the end of the day, they’ve got to knock down shots. If I was coaching against them, I would zone them.”

Brown now coaches only his youngest son. He’s also attending the basketball games of his older son, Elijah, who is a sophomore guard on the Lakewood St. Edward’s High School team. Brown joined Elijah on unofficial visits to the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. Brown also is working part-time as an analyst with NBA TV.

As much as he’s enjoyed the time with his family, Brown knows he’ll eventually need to return to work. Depending on what jobs present themselves – and whether there’s a lockout – that could come next season.

“I’d love to coach again, Brown said. I miss being on the sidelines.”

Former Cavs’ Coach Mike Brown Coaching Middle School Football

Yahoo!Sports

Five months after the Cleveland Cavaliers fired him as LeBron James’ (notes) coach following a disappointing defeat to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Mike Brown has found a new job.

He’s coaching middle school football.

Brown is an assistant coach for the Westlake Lee Burneson Middle School team that his 13-year-old son, Cameron, plays on in Ohio. After being fired by the Cavs, Brown is using this season to spend more time with his wife and two teenage sons. He didn’t pursue opportunities during the summer to return to the NBA as a head coach and turned down an offer to serve as an assistant at St. Mary’s College in California.

“I’m a glorified equipment guy who gets to chest bump and high-five the players, Brown said. The kids still call me coach.”

Yet as much fun as Brown is having with his family, he hopes to return to the NBA next season.

“If the opportunity presents itself, I’d love to be back coaching, he said. The fire to coach is burning, but I also believe in family first. … I wanted to take this opportunity to reconnect with my kids, my wife.”

Brown coached the Cavaliers from 2005-10, taking them to the NBA Finals in 2007, when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs . While the Cavaliers had the NBA’s best regular-season record the past two seasons, they underachieved in the playoffs, failing to reach the Finals each time. Brown was let go on May 25, leaving with the franchise’s highest winning percentage after going 232-178 in his five seasons.

The Cavs are paying Brown the $4.5 million he was due this season over the next six years.

While Brown hadn’t talked publicly about his firing until this week, he said he isn’t bitter toward the Cavs.

“I understand the business, Brown said. [Cavaliers owner] Dan Gilbert took a chance on me five years ago with little coaching experience and not being a former player. That opportunity doesn’t happen a lot. It was his team. He had to do what he thought was best for the organization.

“What I would have preferred is for me and [James] to get after it one more year. I thought we were close. At the end of the day, it’s a business and that was a change they were entitled to make.”

While it was speculated James played a role in Brown’s firing, Brown doesn’t believe that to be true. Brown said the two exchanged pleasantries via text message in late June, and he described their relationship as “fine.”

“There wasn’t anything negative between him and me, Brown said. There was nothing between him and me. We had a player-coach relationship. That’s it. Situations like that where you are out early in the playoffs are always hard. There were a lot of ups and downs, strains.

“I had a great time coaching him. I felt like one of the luckiest coaches in the world. … Coaching LeBron was unique in itself. If he’s not the best, he is one of the best to ever play the game.”

Brown said he didn’t watch James announce he was leaving for the Miami Heat during his much-criticized nationally televised special. While admitting he was a “little surprised” about the decision, Brown said he had no problem with James choosing to play for the Heat. He just wishes James would have delivered the news to Cleveland fans with a little more grace.

“I feel for the fans in Cleveland, Brown said. They are so emotionally attached. When anything happens, it’s a big punch in the gut. They take it hard.”

So how good does Brown think the Heat will be with James playing alongside Dwyane Wade (notes) and Chris Bosh (notes) ?

“Obviously, when you have that kind of talent you have a chance to win it, Brown said. They’ll be really good, but there will be questions on both ends of the floor. It takes time to jell. It will take time for coach [Erik] Spoelstra to figure out the right combinations. At the end of the day, they’ve got to knock down shots. If I was coaching against them, I would zone them.”

Brown now coaches only his youngest son. He’s also attending the basketball games of his older son, Elijah, who is a sophomore guard on the Lakewood St. Edward’s High School team. Brown joined Elijah on unofficial visits to the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. Brown also is working part-time as an analyst with NBA TV.

As much as he’s enjoyed the time with his family, Brown knows he’ll eventually need to return to work. Depending on what jobs present themselves – and whether there’s a lockout – that could come next season.

“I’d love to coach again, Brown said. I miss being on the sidelines.”






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