Sources: Cavs contact Mike Brown about job
When the Cleveland Cavaliers fired Byron Scott on Thursday, it took them mere moments to put together a list of potential replacements.
Team insiders say the Cavs want to move quickly on putting someone in place, and this past weekend supports such a theory.
According to multiple sources, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert met with Mike Brown on Sunday, gauging Brown’s interest on a possible return to the organization.
Brown coached the Cavs from 2005-10, but was fired shortly before LeBron James made his decision to leave for Miami.
The Cavs also reportedly made contact with a much bigger name — 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson, according to ESPN.com.
As reported first by FOX Sports Ohio, Jackson has interest in the Cavs and would be willing to listen if they called.
Brown and Jackson both last coached the Los Angeles Lakers — with Brown getting fired just five games into this season. Jackson has been retired since the 2010-11 season, when the Lakers were swept from the playoffs by eventual champion Dallas.
Brown boasts a career record of 314-167, as well as 66- and 61-win seasons during his time with the Cavs. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2008-09.
Meanwhile, Jackson won six titles with Chicago and another five with the Lakers. He has let people know he’s interested in returning to the NBA.
However, Jackson told SheridanHoops.com in January he doesn’t plan on coaching again, and speculation persists he’d prefer an executive role.
Still, teams aren’t ruling out the idea Jackson will return as a coach, or in a dual role as a front-office exec and coach.
Interestingly, Jackson interviewed via phone with the Cavs in 2005 — not long before the team hired Brown. The same scenario could play out again eight years later.
Other teams are said to be interested in both candidates, with Atlanta mentioned most. The Hawks are run by former Cavs general manager Danny Ferry.
Brown and Ferry remain close from their time in Cleveland, and while the Hawks are currently playing Indiana in the playoffs, all signs point to Ferry gutting the team this summer. The contract of coach Larry Drew is expiring and a number of players are entering free agency.
Sources said Jackson could be courted by Ferry as well.
Also, the ownership group that’s trying to buy and relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle is said to be highly interested in Jackson. If the move is successful, sources said, Jackson will be offered a position in the front office.