Mike Brown. Photo by Stephen Dunn, Getty Images.
INDEPENDENCE -- After days of speculation, it's official.
The Cleveland Cavs announced early Wednesday morning that Mike Brown will return as the team's head coach.
A 2:30 p.m. press conference is planned.
Brown, who coached the Cavs from 2005-2010, has been the team's top choice since Byron Scott's firing last Thursday.
"I am more than excited about Mike Brown's return to the Cleveland Cavaliers," majority owner Dan Gilbert says in a press release. "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."
In five seasons with the Cavs, he compiled a record of 272-138 (.663). He 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.
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.
Brown, 43, most recently coached the Los Angeles Lakers.
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.
"I am thrilled to return to Cleveland to coach the Cavaliers," Brown says. "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," said Brown. "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."
During Brown'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.
LeBron James, who played for the Cavs under Brown's leadership, reacted to the possible news telling reporters Tuesday, "I'm happy for him, very happy for him. I think he's a really good coach, very defensive-minded coach."
Brown is a 1992 graduate of the University of San Diego with a degree in business. He played basketball for two seasons at USD after spending two years at Mesa Community College. He attended high school in Germany at Wurzburg American High School.
He and his wife Carolyn have two sons, Elijah and Cameron, and will reside in Westlake, OH.
Additional facts about Brown's coaching career:
- 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.
- Brown is 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).
- Brown's teams held opponents to the 4th lowest points per game.
- Brown's teams allowed the 2nd lowest points per game from 3-point shooting.
- Brown's teams had the highest rebound rate (52.3%). This statistic is often cited as a measurement of a team's defense, hustle and intensity.