The Cleveland Cavaliers have named seven-year NBA veteran head coach and Cavaliers all-time winningest head coach Mike Brown as the team’s new head coach, confirming reports which leaked late Tuesday afternoon.
“I am more than excited about Mike Brown’s return to the Cleveland Cavaliers,” said team majority owner Dan Gilbert. “Mike has done nothing but win in this league since he was a first-year assistant many years ago. He is going to instill a much-needed defensive-first philosophy in our young and talented team that is going to serve as our foundation and identity as we continue down the path of building the kind of franchise that competes at a championship level for many years to come.”
Brown has won at least one playoff series every full season he has been a head coach in the NBA. Among head coaches who have coached in the NBA 5-years or longer, Brown and Phil Jackson are the only coaches whom have never missed the playoffs in their entire coaching career. He is also the only head coach in NBA history to win the first round of the playoffs every year of his head coaching career (coached five years or longer).
During Mike’s six full years as an NBA coach with the Cavaliers and the Lakers, Brown had the 2nd highest winning percentage (.657%) among all NBA head coaches who were at the helm four years or longer.
In five seasons with the Cavs, he compiled a record of 272-138 (.663). Brown was named the 2009 NBA Coach of the Year by members of the media and compiled a post season record with the Cavs of 42-29 (.592). He led the team to at least the second round of the post season in each of his five seasons, including Cleveland’s first ever trip to the NBA Finals in 2007.
“Mike is an excellent head coach and a proven winner,” said Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant. “He has a deep understanding of what it takes to succeed as a team and that will be integral to helping us reach our full potential, said Grant. “We are fortunate to have Mike back and I look forward to him leading our team to a very successful future.”
Brown led the Cavaliers to NBA-best records in both 2008-09 (66-16) and 2009-10 (61-21). During those two record seasons, the Cavaliers ranked at, or near, the top of the NBA in the majority of all major defensive and offensive statistical categories. Following the firing of former head coach Byron Scott, Grant stated that the team would be looking to hire a coach who would instill defensive focus, as the Cavaliers were dead last in the league in opposing field goal percentage in 2012-13.
“I am thrilled to return to Cleveland to coach the Cavaliers,” said Brown. “The commitment ownership and management have shown in their efforts to build a successful team and organization is deep and I am excited to lead the team forward. Nothing would mean more to me and my family than to help bring success to this very special community and to all of our committed and loyal fans.”
Brown, 43, most recently coached the Los Angeles Lakers and was the head coach of the Cavaliers from 2005-10. He has a career head coaching record of 314-167 (.652) which is the 6th-highest winning percentage in NBA history among coaches with at least 400 games coached.