The Cavs finally made the news we knew two weeks ago official on Sunday night: they fired coach Mike Brown, as reported by Ric Bucher. The Cavs fell short of their goal of winning a title in back-to-back years (they had the top regular season record each year) so I don’t disagree with the move. I don’t think Mike Brown is a bad coach but I do think they can do better. With the Cavs giving Brown the ax, the job becomes available and has a false appeal because the Cavs are thought to be in the running to re-sign LeBron James. I’m entirely convinced that LeBron will leave Cleveland making their head coaching job a dead end.
Without LeBron James, the Cavs will merely be a collection of semi-talented players without a leader and without direction. Take LeBron away from the team and your best players are probably Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams. Jamison couldn’t keep up with Kevin Garnett in the playoffs and Williams was embarrassed by Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. Neither player is particularly good defensively despite having plus scoring abilities. Furthermore, the last time either player was a team’s top option, their squads were some of the worst in the league (Washington for Jamison, Milwaukee for Mo). The harsh reality is that LeBron James’ brilliance brought out the best in his teammates, gave them open shots, and turned them into winners. Without LeBron there, we’ll end up seeing how average the rest of the team is.
When the Cavs lose LeBron James, they’ll lose their only star player. As if losing LeBron isn’t bad enough, they traded away both of their picks to get Jamison and Shaq, so they won’t even have a chance to improve themselves in the draft. Unless the Cavs completely tank next season and get a top five pick in the lottery, they really won’t have any hope of being good. The Cavs completely mortgaged their future for a chance to win the title while they had LeBron. They lost early in the playoffs twice in a row and all they’ll have to show for it is a collection of decent players. It’s going to be another long decade of dullness in Cleveland for the Cavaliers. They better pray another number one pick comes their way via the lottery. The only problem is the player they get won’t be nearly as good as LeBron James.
Source: Cavs coach Brown fired [Ric Bucher/ESPN]