CLEVELAND-- The Cleveland Cavaliers have named Mike Brown as the team’s new head coach, the team announced Wednesday morning.
Brown is a seven-year NBA veteran head coach and the Cavaliers all-time winningest head coach.
The 43-year-old most recently coached the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I am more than excited about Mike Brown’s return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. 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,” said Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert in a team release.
At a news conference at Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Brown vowed the team would have a tough, defensive-minded approach and said he harbored no bitterness toward Cavaliers management for firing him in 2010. The fans of Northeast Ohio were one big reason he came back, as well.
"The thing that drives me is just the passionate fan base that we have here in Cleveland," said Brown early in the press conference.
Owner Dan Gilbert addressed the firing of Brown three years ago. He admitted it was a mistake. "In hindsight, it was a mistake. It was a unique time for us as a franchise. There was a lot of uncertainty on all levels. We are very happy that we get to rectify any position we took back then by Mike being available right now."
Brown led the Cavs to NBA-best records in both 2008-09 (66-16) and 2009-10 (61-21).
There are reports that Brown would bring back John Kuester to be the teams offensive specialist, but Brown in the news conference did not confirm the hiring of any names brought up.
Brown agreed to terms on a 5-year deal which included a team option for the final year. It is said to be worth 20 million dollars.
(FOX 8's Lindsay Buckingham contributed to this report.)