Of the many reasons the Cleveland Cavaliers had for firing coach Mike Brown after five seasons without an NBA title, one mattered most.
They can’t lose LeBron James.
Less than two weeks after their stunning second-round loss to Boston in the playoffs, the Cavaliers fired Brown on Monday, an expected move that perhaps indicates the team believes it can re-sign James, the two-time MVP and free agent-in-waiting.
Brown was the most successful coach in franchise history. In five seasons, he led the Cavs to the playoffs every year, to the NBA Finals in 2007 and to 127 wins in the past two seasons. But Brown failed to win a championship — and with James about to explore free agency, owner Dan Gilbert decided to make a change.
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The Cavs did not hold a news conference to explain their decision to relieve Brown, who went 314-177 and was the league’s coach of the year last season.
“Franchises have the right to make any decisions they want. You can’t do a hell of a lot better,” said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy. “There’s not a coach in the league that has done better than Mike Brown.”
New York Knicks center Eddy Curry defaulted on a $570,000 personal loan while keeping up a lifestyle that included a $17,000-a-month suburban New York home, a $6,000-a-month personal chef and a dozen cars he’d bought for himself and relatives, a judge said.
On Friday, a Manhattan court ordered Curry to pay $75,000 a month to lender Allstar Capital Inc. to resolve a debt that swelled to $1.2 million with interest. The court also has issued an order letting Las Vegas-based Allstar seize three of the cars: a Rolls Royce Phantom convertible and two Land Rover SUVs, all 2009 models.
Phoenix star Steve Nash has a broken nose but says he doesn’t expect it to be a problem for him in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against the Lakers tonight. He spoke briefly with reporters after practice on Monday before leaving to have the nose put back in place by a specialist. … Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau is the leading candidate to fill the New Orleans Hornets’ coaching vacancy and the team could offer him the job this week, according to a person familiar with the process. After interviewing eight candidates, the Hornets began working on a contract for Thibodeau, the person told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the offer has not yet been made. … The Indiana Pacers say guard A.J. Price will need 4-6 months to heal from a knee injury he suffered while playing in a charity basketball game.