Life is not always fair; sometimes the other guy gets the girl, the wrong politician wins the race or someone else gets the credit and a promotion for your idea. Many when confronted with those types of situations are devastated and crumble while others just pick up the pieces and carry on. Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown belongs with the latter group; after falling into one of the potholes of life he is back on the road and still the consummate professional.
Brown spent five years as the bench boss of the Cleveland Cavaliers and took the club to heights it had never scaled before; including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2007 as the team lost to the San Antonio Spurs. After back to back campaigns winning 60-plus games in the regular season, Brown was fired by owner Dan Gilbert after the Cavaliers lost in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to the Boston Celtics.
Brown faced his former team on Friday night in his new job as the head coach of the Lakers as Cleveland came to the Staples Center. Before beating his former club by a final score of 97-92; Brown talked with the media about his days on the Cavaliers bench. According to “ESPN.com” the Los Angeles coach refused to express any rancor or disdain for Gilbert or the team, instead he talked about how thankful he was for his first chance to coach an NBA team.
The former Cleveland coach told reporters “I understand this is a business. I appreciate the opportunity that Dan Gilbert gave me, but it’s his money, it’s his team and he decided to go in a different direction. I just appreciate the five years that he gave me. I understand that life is bigger than what we do. It’s not the end of the world if I get fired. I make great money. I enjoy what I do. There are people out there doing real jobs where if they get fired, you understand that the impact is so much greater. I would feel like a spoiled child if I were to rant and rave about getting fired after I made millions of dollars from a man and I had an opportunity that not many people probably would have given me with my age and experience and so on and so forth. So, I respect him for the opportunity, I respect him for the time I had there and I feel like I do a pretty good job of keeping things in perspective.”
A member of the media asked Brown if he was at all taken aback by Gilbert’s decision to fire him. He replied “Was I surprised? No. It was tough. There was a lot of uneasiness and unsuredness, I guess, with the LeBron situation. You know, it’s a championship team when you have a guy like LeBron. … Everybody expects you to win a championship and only one team can do it. It takes a lot of luck, it takes a lot of skill and being in the right place at the right time and all that, and it didn’t happen. They say Dan Gilbert is entitled to do what he wants because it’s his team and he pays the bills. So, it is what it is, or it is what it was. I’m excited to be here in L.A. and I’m excited to be coaching this Lakers team.”
If you are TRULY looking for a role model in professional sports; Mike Brown is someone that you should point out to your children to emulate. Mike Brown was always a class act during his days in Cleveland and on Friday he showed that he still handles himself with grace and aplomb in the “City Of Angels.”