Coming off a stellar comeback victory at home against the Spurs, the Golden State Warriors dodged a bullet. The combination of an unhealthy Kawhi Leonard, along with maintaining home court advantage, moving forward is imperative to the Warriors success. With both of these components secured, Golden State has a much easier path to the final. So much easier, that there is now only one thing that could ruin their chances: Mike Brown.
Mike Brown is notoriously a loser. In 20 years of coaching Brown has only won one championship. Sure, one championship may be seen as a success for any one coach or player, but it depends on the circumstances. Coach Brown has been a part of quality organizations, and has hampered all of them, except coach Gregg Popovich’s Spurs in 2003 during the prime of the Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli era when Brown won his only ring. With the exception of sitting back behind a hall-of-fame coach and arguably the most iconic big 3 in NBA history, the organizations Brown has been an integral part of have never come through.
Brown coached the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005-2010, including LeBron James in 5 quality years of his career. What did Brown do with the talent of arguably the greatest player ever? Nothing. During his five-year tenure, the Cavs made one finals appearance and got swept by Duncan and the Spurs in it. After the Cavs elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2010, the organization underwent change. LeBron took his talents to South Beach, where he went on to appear in four straight championships, winning two of them, in four years, and Brown went to ESPN to become an analyst and became an assistant coach at his son’s middle school team.
Brown eventually moved onto becoming the head coach of the Lakers, who fired him 5 games into his second season. He then returned to the Cavs for his second tenure as head coach, who fired him a year into taking his role.
Now, Brown finds himself on the coaching staff of another talented team, after proving he lacks the sufficient capability to lead teams as a head coach. With head coach Steve Kerr being limited due to back problems, Brown has been given the role of interim coach. The Warriors have cruised through the playoffs, which was expected, but are now facing a legitimate threat in the Spurs.
Brown’s first real chance to impact the Warriors was when the Spurs jumped to an early lead in the first quarter. In the first hole the Warriors found themselves in during the playoffs, Brown simply made terrible adjustments that led to an even bigger hole at halftime. During halftime, coach Kerr stepped in, talked to the team, and motivated a come-from-behind victory.
The Warriors now find themselves in a position with home court advantage against a hindered Spurs team. The sports world considers them essentially an automatic bid to the Finals, there is just one factor that stands in their way: Mike Brown.
By Brandon Pollack Photo Credit: Luis Sinco-Los Angeles Times