Mike Brown (basketball, born 1970)

This article is about the head coach. For the retired player and assistant coach, see Mike Brown (basketball, born 1963).
Mike Brown

Brown coaching Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008
Golden State Warriors
Position Assistant coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1970-03-05) March 5, 1970
Columbus, Ohio
Nationality American
Career information
High school Würzburg American HS
(Würzburg, Germany)
Coaching career 1997–2014, 2016–present
Career history
As coach:
19971999 Washington Wizards (assistant)
20002003 San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
20032005 Indiana Pacers (assistant)
20052010 Cleveland Cavaliers
20112012 Los Angeles Lakers
2013–2014 Cleveland Cavaliers
2016–present Golden State Warriors (assistant)
Career highlights and awards

As coach:

As assistant coach:

Michael Burton Brown[1] (born March 5, 1970) is an American basketball coach. Brown is currently the assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Brown is the former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also coached the Los Angeles Lakers, and is widely regarded as a defensive specialist.

Brown began coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005 and turned the Cavaliers into one of the top defensive teams in the NBA, reaching the 2007 NBA Finals, where they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Brown was honored as NBA Coach of the Year for leading the Cavaliers to a team record and league best 66 wins in 2009, and 61 wins, again a league best, in 2010. However, after losing to the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, and the Boston Celtics in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals, he was fired after failing to win an NBA Championship with the Cavaliers. He succeeded Phil Jackson as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011 before being fired after the start of the following season. He returned to the Cavaliers for the 2013–14 NBA season, but was once again fired following the season.

Early years

Brown was born in Columbus, Ohio, but spent periods of his childhood overseas. He graduated in 1988 from Würzburg American High School in Würzburg, Germany, where he excelled in basketball and football.[2] After studying and playing basketball for two years at Mesa Community College, Brown went on to the University of San Diego, where he played two seasons for the Toreros and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.[3]

Professional career

Video and scouting

He began his career in 1992 as an unpaid video intern with the Denver Nuggets, and eventually spent five seasons with the team as a scout and video coordinator.[3]

Assistant coach

In 2000, Brown was hired by Gregg Popovich as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. While with the Spurs, Brown's teams won at least 58 games each season. He also was the head coach for the Spurs' summer league teams in Boston and Salt Lake City.

After winning a championship with San Antonio in 2003, Brown was hired as assistant coach to Rick Carlisle with the Indiana Pacers. He helped lead Indiana to consecutive playoff appearances including a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004. Brown followed Ron Artest into the stands and was instrumental in getting him back to the locker room during the massive brawl between the Pacers, Detroit Pistons, and Pistons fans at the Palace at Auburn Hills on November 19, 2004.[4]

Brown's record as an assistant coach is 341–201 (.629).[3]

Cleveland Cavaliers

In June 2005, Brown replaced Brendan Malone for his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Cavaliers, becoming the second youngest coach in the league behind only Lawrence Frank of the New Jersey Nets.[3] He was often referred to as "Potato Head" by fans, in reference to the popular toy.

On June 2, 2007, Brown's Cavaliers defeated the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals and advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. However, they were swept in four games by his former team, the San Antonio Spurs.

On February 1, 2008, Brown was named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January 2008.[5]

In 2009, Brown was named coach of the Eastern Conference All-Star team,[6] making him the second coach in Cavaliers history to coach the All-Star team, joining Lenny Wilkens who coached the East team in 1989.

On April 20, 2009, Brown was named NBA Coach of the Year after guiding the Cavaliers to a franchise-best 66–16 record.[6]

On May 13, 2010, Brown and the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs. With this loss, the Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to accomplish back-to-back 60+ win seasons and not advance to the NBA Finals.[7]

Brown was fired on May 24, 2010.[8][9] In December 2010, he began working with ESPN as a studio analyst.[10]

After leaving Cleveland Cavaliers, Brown became the assistant coach on his son's team at Westlake Lee Burneson Middle School in Ohio. In doing so he turned down an offer to serve as an assistant at St. Mary’s College in California. "I’m a glorified equipment guy who gets to chest-bump and high-five the players," Brown said. "The kids still call me coach." [11]

Los Angeles Lakers

On May 25, 2011, Brown agreed to be Phil Jackson's successor and become the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. He reportedly agreed to a 3-year deal, with a team option to renew his contract for a fourth year.[12] On May 31, 2011, he was officially named the Lakers' new head coach.[13] The 2011–12 season was shortened to 66 games by the lockout that season, and the Lakers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.[14]

Before the 2012–13 season, Brown decided that the Lakers would use a version of the Princeton offense.[15] Shortly afterward, the Lakers acquired All-Stars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, giving them a starting lineup of five former All-Stars with a combined 33 All-Star game appearances.[16] Although immediately considered top title contenders, the Lakers struggled to adjust to the changes in both system and personnel, and were winless in eight preseason games.[17] The team's travails continued into the start of the regular season with the team losing four of its first five games, and on November 9, 2012, Brown was fired.[18] Nash had played just 1 12 games due to injury, Howard was playing but recovering from back surgery, and Kobe Bryant had been playing with an injured foot and was unable to practice.[19] The team was still adjusting to the new offense and committing a high number of turnovers; the defense, a specialty of Brown's, was also vulnerable.[14][20] The Lakers, however, had an urgency to win and were not compelled to wait given their aging stars, Howard's pending free agency the coming summer, and owner Jerry Buss's deteriorating health.[19][21] Brown's dismissal after five games was the third-fastest coaching change in NBA history.[22] Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff served as the Lakers' interim head coach until Mike D'Antoni was hired to take over on November 20, 2012.[23]

Return to Cleveland

On April 24, 2013, Brown was rehired by the Cavaliers, replacing Byron Scott.[24] Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was quoted saying that firing Brown the first time was a "mistake." For the first time as a head coach, Brown's team posted a losing record over a 82-game season as his team was marred by injuries and reported infighting amongst players. On May 12, 2014, he was fired by Gilbert a second time.[25]

Golden State Warriors

On July 4, 2016, the Warriors hired Brown as an assistant coach, replacing Luke Walton who left to take over as Los Angeles Lakers' head coach.[26]

Head coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L WL% Finish PG PW PL PWL% Result
Cleveland 2005–06 825032.6102nd in Central1376.538 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Cleveland 2006–07 825032.6102nd in Central20128.600 Lost in NBA Finals
Cleveland 2007–08 824537.5492nd in Central1376.538 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Cleveland 2008–09 826616.8051st in Central14104.714 Lost in Conf. Finals
Cleveland 2009–10 826121.7441st in Central1165.545 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
L.A. Lakers 2011–12 664125.6211st in Pacific1257.417 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
L.A. Lakers 2012–13 514.200(fired)
Cleveland 2013–14 823349.4023rd in Central Missed Playoffs
Career 563347216.616 834736.566


  1. "Mike Brown, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach" (PDF). 2005-06 Cleveland Cavaliers Media Guide. Cleveland Cavaliers. 2005. p. 14.
  2. WAHS Yearbook 1988 - Senior Photos
  3. 1 2 3 4 NBA.com, Mike Brown
  4. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7612311/view/full/an-oral-history-malice-palace
  5. Mike Brown, Byron Scott Named Coaches of the Month, NBA.com, February 1, 2008.
  6. 1 2 Windhorst, Brian (2009-04-20). "Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown named NBA Coach of the Year". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
  7. "Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics - Recap - May 13, 2010 - ESPN". espn.com. 2010-05-13. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
  8. Mike Brown fired
  9. Abrams, Jonathan (May 25, 2010). "With Cavs Out Early, So Is Brown as Coach". The New York Times. p. B11. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011.
  10. Mike Brown joins ESPN as analyst, ESPN
  11. Spears, Marc J. "Life after LeBron: Brown eyes return - NBA - Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
  12. Broussard, Chris (May 25, 2011). "Mike Brown new Lakers coach". Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  13. Trudell, Mike (June 1, 2011). "Mike Brown Becomes 22nd Head Coach in Lakers History". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  14. 1 2 Elliott, Helene (November 9, 2012). "Mike Brown played his game until the end". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012.
  15. Bresnahan, Mike (September 29, 2012). "For Lakers Coach Mike Brown, pressure is part of job description". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012.
  16. Heisler, Mark (November 3, 2012). "With 0-3 Start, Lakers Drop Into Panic Mode". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.
  17. "Lakers lose to Kings, complete 0-8 preseason". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012.
  18. Amick, Sam (November 9, 2012). "Lakers have fired Mike Brown". USA Today. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  19. 1 2 Beck, Howard (November 9, 2012). "Lakers Fire Their Coach, and Jackson Is on Radar". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012.
  20. Shelburne, Ramona (November 9, 2012). "Lakers fire Mike Brown". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012.
  21. "Owner's health factored into firing". ESPN.com. February 27, 2013. Archived from the original on March 2, 2013.
  22. Stein, Marc; Shelburne, Ramona (December 6, 2012). "Sources: Lakers rebuff trade talks". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2012.
  23. Moore, David Leon (November 20, 2012). "Mike D'Antoni debuts on Lakers bench: 'This is special'". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 21, 2012.
  24. "Mike Brown Returns As Head Coach Of The Cleveland Cavaliers". NBA.com. April 24, 2013. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  25. http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11112991/david-blatt-new-coach-cleveland-cavaliers
  26. "Warriors hire former Cavs coach Mike Brown as assistant coach". NBA.com. July 4, 2016. Archived from the original on July 4, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2016.

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