CLEVELAND – Mike Brown’s second shot with the Cleveland Cavaliers ended Monday after one season, as owner Dan Gilbert fired the only coach who has guided the team to the NBA Finals.
Brown had been rehired in April 2013 by Gilbert, who regretted dismissing him in May 2010. But after the Cavaliers went 33-49 and missed the playoffs, Gilbert decided it was time to make another change.
“This is a very tough business,” Gilbert said in a statement. “It pains all of us here that we needed to make the difficult decision of releasing Mike Brown. Mike worked hard over this last season to move our team in the right direction. Although there was some progress from our finish over the few prior seasons, we believe we need to head in a different direction.”
Brown, 44, had four years remaining on his $20 million contract. He was fired by the Los Angeles Lakers in November 2012, after a 1-4 start to his second season with the team. Brown went 272-138 in his first stint with Cleveland.
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In addition to firing Brown, Gilbert announced he is making David Griffin full-time general manager.
Griffin had been the interim GM since Feb. 6, when Gilbert fired Chris Grant one day after the Cavaliers lost to a Lakers team that finished the game with five eligible players.
Gilbert said Griffin would lead the search for Brown’s successor.
Silver rebukes Sterling again
LOS ANGELES – League commissioner Adam Silver has issued a new rebuke to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling — this time over comments about Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson in an interview.
Sterling repeatedly disparaged Johnson’s HIV status and dismissed his business and charity work in an interview that aired Monday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Sterling apologized in the interview for the racist remarks that earned him a lifetime NBA ban and a $2.5 million fine from Silver last month.
But when the subject turned to Johnson, Sterling repeatedly referred to the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar having “AIDS.”
Sterling told Cooper: “He acts so holy. He made love to every girl in every city in America, and he had AIDS, and when he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him. I hope he could live and be well. I didn’t criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children?”
Cooper said Johnson would appear on his CNN show Tuesday.
The commissioner’s statement said he apologizes on behalf of the league to Johnson, who “continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack.”