Cavs bring back Mike Brown

I have no problem with this. Here are some initial observations:

– As I said before, it’s hard to say that Byron Scott had to go. The Cavs were very young and suffered a ton of injuries. That said, there was clearly something missing and I can’t get too upset that Dan Gilbert decided to make a change. The rumblings are that Scott really didn’t work that hard, and they’re clearly happy getting a “grinder” like Brown back in the fold.

– The only reason Brown was fired the first time around had to do with LeBron James, who was sulking like a baby and refusing to give the Cavs any idea of his plans before he took his ego and talents to South Beach. Gilbert rolled the dice, hoping that a coaching change would convince LeBron to stay. But the big baby was gone anyways and he didn’t have enough class to let the Cavs know before they dumped Brown.

– Mike Brown reminds me of Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Hargrove – an excellent coaches who can’t seem to adjust their regular season formulas to the postseason, so perhaps we’ll be screaming about Brown in the future. But Brown will get the most out of his talent by stressing defense so like those guys he’ll at least get decent teams to the playoffs. Brown was outcoached several years ago against Orlando, but I still think LeBron James deserves much more of the blame for the failure of the Cavs to win a championship during his tenure. The world saw LeBron’s weak character when he let the Heat wilt against the Mavs, but we saw previews of that here in Cleveland. He had a meltdown versus Boston, and if you go back to that Orlando series you’ll see plenty of pathetic plays from LeBron, like chucking up lazy threes at the worst possible time.

– I don’t buy the argument that the Cavs have been waiting for LeBron to come back in 2014. They went young because that’s what made sense. They are set up nicely again with this draft and with the cap, so now Chris Grant has to earn his money and put some talent around Kyrie.

– Mike Brown will teach Kyrie how to play defense, and if Kyrie resists, we don’t want him around anyways.

In the end, Brown wants to be in Cleveland and he’s a very solid choice. They can now focus on building a contender for the long haul.

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Cavs fire Byron Scott

I really can’t blame Byron Scott at all for the pathetic record we’ve seen from the Cavs for the past several years. The team went in major rebuilding mode and suffered a constant stream of injuries.

Something must have gone wrong behind the scenes. Kyrie Irving and other young players have developed, but maybe the chemistry between Kyrie and Scott wasn’t really there.

Let’s see what Chris Grant and Dan Gilbert have in mind. The team is poised with a lottery pick and the Lakers pick to grab more talent, and they should be targeting a veteran as well. The time is now for this team to compete, so we’ll see who they bring in as the new coach.

Cavs are 3-3 after loss in Toronto

Toronto Raptors James Johnson (R) goes to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers Antawn Jamison (4) during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

If you haven’t been watching the Cavs and you just started last night, give them another chance. This team has excellent young talent in Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, but more importantly the entire team plays hard and plays well together.

Some writers around the country are starting to notice. Here’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss from Hoopspeak.com as he ranks the Cavs #1 in hist list of teams that could be the next Oklahoma Thunder:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (Cumulonimbus)
There was much garments-rending over how LeBron left Cleveland in rancid shambles, but few noted the bizarre NBA paradox: Rancid shambles = where you want to be in this league. Rank failure is rewarded, and handsomely so. The upstart Cavs now sport the first and fourth picks from 2011. With Baron Davis amnestied, and Antawn Jamison expiring, Cleveland will have ample financial room going forward.

Despite widespread assertions to the contrary, I believe that Kyrie Irving has superstar potential. Tristan Thompson looks like he could become a valuable defensive force at the 4 spot, no small thing in this league. Promising draft, promising team.

Ointment flies: Owner Dan Gilbert seems quite impulse oriented, and he might jump at the chance to trade for the next Jamison. Coach Byron Scott has been meager with minutes for Irving and Thompson–which should buy Scott a swift conviction in the Court of League Pass.

Let’s see if the Cavs can play well on this tough road trip and generate some more attention.

Dan Gilbert rips LeBron James

Good for him . . . (via Cavs.com)

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

As Jason Whitlock said on Twitter, Dan Gilbert knows where the bodies are buried, and LeBron and his posse messed with the wrong billionaire.

Expect to hear much more about LeBron’s game 5 meltdown, and all the drama from behind the scenes. Gilbert knows LeBron wants to be a “global icon.” LeBron has already diminished his brand, and it looks like Gilbert is determined to expose the real LeBron to the rest of the world.

Another take on Danny Ferry’s departure

Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports is no fan of LeBron James. He has made that clear with some scathing articles on LeBron and his posse over the past several weeks. His criticisms are often legitimate, as LeBron has shown that he’s a spoiled egomaniac who crumbled under the pressure this year in the playoffs.

That said, LeBron is one of the most significant talents in NBA history. Whether he achieves the highest levels of greatness remains to be seen, but we all know the NBA is built around star players, and LeBron still has the potential to grow up and become one of the greats.

With that in mind, here’s Adrian’s take on the Danny Ferry situation.

What’s been lost for the Cavaliers is the strong, steady leadership they had with Ferry and coach Mike Brown. Gilbert was honest with Ferry: He wanted to take back control and involve himself with everything again. Before Ferry was hired as GM, it wasn’t uncommon for Gilbert to pass notes to the bench for substitutions he wanted Paul Silas to make. Ferry had come out of San Antonio, and believed an orderly structure made for successful, winning organizations.

“LeBron never had to come out and say that he wanted Brown and Ferry gone,” one front-office executive familiar with the Cavs’ dynamic said. “But the anti-Brown and anti-Ferry sentiment from LeBron’s crowd was loud and clear to Dan Gilbert. He knew where LeBron stood.”

Ferry convinced Gilbert to step back, let him do his job. But more and more, the owner’s impulsive need to inject himself into everything took over the franchise. Most of all, Gilbert had become the biggest enabler of LeBron James and his inner circle, and that only promises to get worse. Ferry never loved the players’ pregame skits, the hiring of James’ buddies, the associates’ riding on the team plane, but Gilbert seldom said no to anything. He behaved like the permissive parent who believed his kid would love him more if he spoiled him rotten. And it got the Cavs a superstar, James, who never respected anyone and a cast of associates who had the run of the place. Had James wanted Ferry to still be the GM, Gilbert would’ve backed down and Ferry would have a new contract.

“Danny’s been miserable for the past two years,” a friend of his told Yahoo! Sports. “Even if they kept LeBron, do you still lose for winning there anyway?”

Ferry fought to retain Brown, but Gilbert, a staunch Michigan State man, is determined to hire away Tom Izzo. Unless James tells him he wants John Calipari, and then they’ll hire John Calipari. As much as anything, the Cavaliers are giving the franchise completely over to James and his inner circle now. Whatever he wants to stay, he’ll get. Now, Ferry isn’t there to play the wet blanket anymore. He never feared fighting Gilbert on issues because he had stature, money and, truth be told, he didn’t need the job.

I think he’s being too tough on Dan Gilbert. Has Gilbert enabled LeBron, his ego and his posse? Of course he has, but you have little choice in the NBA to do that with a star of LeBron’s caliber. Ferry may not have liked it, but the San Antonio model is tough to replicate entirely – they have a superstar who doesn’t have much of an ego. That’s very rare.

What Adrian doesn’t address is that Mike Brown was LeBron’s biggest enabler. Sure, he turned LeBron into a defensive player, but he had little control over LeBron during the games. He never disciplined LeBron for taking idiotic 3-pointers at critical points in the game without setting up the offense. LeBron ran the show, so the decision to get a new coach is one of the few things Gilbert could do to possibly control LeBron. Also, Brown’s performance in the playoffs was terrible this year. If Ferry was going to side with Brown, I don’t blame Gilbert for moving on.

Also, an owner who invests this much money has to have a team approach to the roster. He is putting up millions to get over the hump, and a GM needs to be on board with that. Ferry’s notion of total control make little sense in a setting where Gilbert is paying huge amounts in luxury tax money.

In the end, Gilbert is doing the right thing in trying to keep LeBron. Brown and Ferry are dispensable.