Mike Brown is back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, returning as coach three years after he was fired by the National Basketball Association franchise.
Brown previously coached in Cleveland for five seasons from 2005 through 2010, compiling a 272-138 record with teams led by LeBron James. He most recently coached the Los Angeles Lakers and was fired in November, five games into the season.
“I am thrilled to return to Cleveland to coach the Cavaliers,” Brown said in an e-mailed statement.
While the Cavaliers didn’t disclose terms of the contract, ESPN reports Brown agreed to a five-year, $20 million deal, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.
Brown, 43, replaces Byron Scott, who was fired by the Cavaliers last week after recording a 64-166 record over three seasons. Cleveland has had three straight last-place division finishes since James left to join the Miami Heat.
The Cavaliers were 24-58 this year, losing their final six games of the season and finishing 25 1/2 games behind the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference’s Central division.
Brown has a career record of 314-167 and his winning percentage is the sixth-highest in NBA history among coaches with at least 400 games coached. His teams have won at least one playoff series in every full season he’s been a coach, including a trip to the 2006-07 NBA Finals.
“Mike has done nothing but win in this league since he was a first-year assistant many years ago,” Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said. “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.”