Golden State Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown had one of the better comeuppance stories from this year’s NBA Finals. Brown was twice hired by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the team’s head coach, so beating the team that had hired and fired him on more than one occasion was quite the fitting vengeance for the 40-year-old.
But during a recent podcast on Warriors All-82 (via The Mercury News), Brown opened up that his son, who studies in Cleveland and gets a lot of heat for being a Warriors fan in public, essentially made Golden State’s latest championship win all the more sweeter for him:
“My youngest son goes to school (in Cleveland) at Case Western Reserve… Plays football there. He sports the Warriors gear like it’s no other and he gets a ton of grief not only from his buddies, his teammates, people on campus, but his friends from growing up and people all over Cleveland because that’s what he wears on a daily basis. So to know I had that connection… To go through all that, to see all my friends and people back there when I went. Yes, it was a little sweeter just because of the connections.”
Brown, a Columbus native, deserves more credit for the work he’s done with the Cavaliers. The former Coach of the Year awardee led Cleveland to five-straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances in as many seasons during his first stint with the team. However, he only took the Cavs to two Finals appearances and lost in both opportunities in 2007 and 2009.
Brown’s second stint in The 216 was a more forgettable one, finishing with his first and only losing record in Cleveland and with the team missing the playoffs entirely during the 2013-14 season. This was eventually the breaking point for Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who claimed that the firing of Brown the first time around was “a mistake” prior to re-hiring the man.
In the end, Brown had the last laugh as he and the Warriors humbled the Cavaliers for the second time in three years. Young Elijah Brown must not only be proud of his father, but also glad to not have ridden the local Cavs bandwagon considering his dad’s rocky relationship with the organization.