It must be weird for acting Golden State Warriors head coach Mike Brown to go up against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals.
Brown himself led the Cavs to the NBA Finals in 2007, the culmination of a tenure in Cleveland that saw him man the sideline from 2005-10. Brown also spent the 2013-14 season and the start of the following year as the Cavaliers’ head coach.
So going up against his former team must give Brown all the feels.
Interestingly, Cleveland is still paying out the five-year, $20 million contract it signed Brown to back in 2013. It is doing so as Brown himself looks to lead his Warriors to an NBA Finals victory over the Cavaliers.
“When Brown was fired in May of 2014, a provision in the contract spread the payments out over the next six years,” ESPN reported. “Brown will get all the money guaranteed him, with the amount he’s paid as part of his Golden State Warriors contract being deducted, and the Cavs pay the balance.”
Just imagine Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert having to cut a check to Brown following what could be the Warriors’ second title in three years. Talk about adding insult to injury.
For Brown, going up against the Cavaliers has been a “surreal” experience. But he doesn’t have any hard feelings after how his second stint as the team’s head coach ended.
“So a lot of people have said this to me, and maybe I am made up differently, I’m not looking at this as Cleveland fired me twice, this is the time to get back at them, or is there any extra incentive?” Brown said. “No, I just want to win. I don’t care who it is, I just want to be a part of a winning program.”
We’re not yet sure whether Brown will act as the Warriors’ head coach in Game 2 of the Finals on Saturday. Steve Kerr is nearing a return to the bench. Either way, we can bet Brown would like nothing more than to exact revenge against his former team.