Acting Warriors coach Mike Brown landed his first head coaching job in 2005, when he took over a Cleveland Cavaliers team led by a very young LeBron James. Brown and James went to the NBA Finals in 2007, and 10 years later, they'll meet on opposite sides in the third edition of the Warriors-Cavs Finals rivalry.
Here's what Mike Brown had to say about facing LeBron as a member of the Warriors:
Mike Brown on the circle of life
“I don’t have any control over what the storyline’s going to be. It’s a little ironic that things happen in life this way. I was just talking to my boys about it, and it’s just one of those things, especially in the NBA, it’s like ‘The Lion King.’ It’s just the circle of life.
Everything just kind of keeps getting back or revolving back to where it once was.”
Mike Brown on if he has an advantage knowing LeBron:
“[LeBron’s] been scrutinized from day one, top to bottom, inside-out. I don’t know more about LeBron than what Steve does. Obviously I coached him, so there’s maybe a little bit more that I may know on his personal side about him, but in terms of him as a basketball player, everybody has knowledge of what he can do on the floor. He’s played very well. It seems like every year, his game has gotten better.”
Greg M. CooperGreg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Brown on how LeBron has improved his game:
“One of the things, and we talked about this, is his shooting. I know I’m really dating myself, but in 2007 when we played San Antonio, every pick-and-roll that LeBron ran - I don’t care if the screens were set 15 feel below where the ball was - they were going under the pick-and-roll.
He wasn’t as confident in his shot back then. Even in 2013, when San Antonio played them, they were going under the pick-and-roll. You’ve got to be careful going under the pick-and-roll against him now, because if you do, he’ll make you pay. Not just one or two threes, he’s liable to run off four or five threes in a row if you disrespect his shooting ability.”