Talking about Mike Brown, and who’ll replace him

There’s been a lot said about Mike Brown the Coach throughout his tenure here with the Cavaliers.  And as the winningest coach in franchise history was dismissed yesterday, there was a lot said about his demise.  Below are a collection of quotes and commentary from his now former players, and former owner, as well as a list of possible candidates to replace him next season.  The most interesting commentary, at least to me, came from two members of the Cavaliers squad – in Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas –  who you might have assumed prior to yesterday had an axe to grind with Coach Brown.  Turns out they don’t actually, just the opposite.  First from Z, who of course was “DNPed” on the night he could have first broke the Cavaliers games played record, then traded, then subsequently phased out of Mike Brown’s roation, who had this to say…

Via Mary Schmitt Boyer, The Plain Dealer:

Zydrunas Ilguaskas:  “I think coach Brown is a very good coach…Obviously, we didn’t achieve what we set out to achieve, which is to win a championship. But if you’re going to lay all the blame on coach Brown and think that’s going to solve everything, you’ve got another thing coming…I think we’re all at fault — the players, everybody. You have to, at some point, accept some of the responsibility. We all have to do that. A coach only can take you so far. At some point you have to do it yourself and we didn’t do it. I think coach Brown will be fine. He’ll be coaching again, and I’m very sure he’ll have success.”

And then from Mo  – a guy who was the recent focus of a Mike Brown post game outburst during the Boston series, and is far from the defending guard designed to excel in a Mike Brown defensive scheme – had this to say…

Mo Williams:  “Do I think he deserved it? No…My question is: Who’s out there that’s better? He’s not a bad coach. To fire him, that’s making a big statement. After him, you have to get a Hall of Fame coach. I thought we prematurely acted on our emotions, as an organization. I think he did a good job. If anything, bring in a veteran assistant. I think we just could have gotten better instead of blowing it all up. Now we’re starting over.”

And Maurice comes off as pretty accurate to me here.  Mike Brown’s not a bad coach, and after him you really only can upgrade with a HOF coach…so who ya got Mr. Gilbert?  And to both Z and Mo’s commentary, before you dismiss those sentiments by saying ‘what were they supposed to say’ – do realize they could have offered the same commentary that LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers offered…nothing.

But what these reactions tell me, from these two guys- a starter, and arguably the second most important player in the franchise…one guy who’ll have his number retired a Cavalier, and two guys who were All Stars as Cavs – is that if there was a divide in the locker room caused by, or over, Mike Brown, these were two guys in the “Mike Brown camp”…for whatever its worth I guess…

So then moving on from there, back to one guy who wasn’t in the Mike Brown camp, and the man that made the midnight move…Dan Gilbert:

Via Brian Windhorst, The Plain Dealer:

Dan Gilbert: “The expectations of this organization are very high…Although change always carries an element of risk, there are times when that risk must be taken in an attempt to break through to new, higher levels of accomplishment. This is one of those times.  After a long and deep analysis of all of the factors that led to the disappointing early ends to our playoff runs over the past two seasons, we concluded that it was time for the Cavaliers to move in a different direction.” 

Which leads us to that direction…is a HOF coach as Mo suggested an option here? Can Dan Gilbert really afford to not go that route?  I’ll have more on that later, but for now, a list of candidates offered by Windy is below:

* Phil Jackson
* Mike Krzyzewski
* Tom Izzo
* John Calipari
* Byron Scott
* Jeff Van Gundy
* Mike Budenholzer

* and a collection of others including:

* Lawrence Frank
* Avery Johnson
* Mike Fratello
* Bill Laimbeer

To me, there is only one direction Dan Gilbert can go here…and I will lay that out for you later on…

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.