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Mike Brown remains grateful for Cavs coaching gig

Lakers Coach Mike Brown has every right to be bitter.

He guided the Cleveland Cavaliers through five seasons, helping them to two Eastern Confernce finals and one NBA FInals while compiling a 272-138 record. Yet, owner Dan Gilbert fired him after the 2009-10 season and hired current Cavaliers Coach Byron Scott in an attempt to appease LeBron James.

Instead, Brown says he remains grateful.

"I respect him for the opportunity," Brown said of Gilbert at the Lakers' morning shoot-around Friday at the team's practice facility in El Segundo. "I respect him for the time I had there and I feel like I do a pretty good job of keeping things in perspective."

As the Lakers play host to the Cavaliers on Friday night at Staples Center in what will mark Brown's first meeting against his former team, Brown's perspective involves less on lamenting on what could've become a permanent stint than understanding that it served as a touching stone toward his currrent position.

Even if Gilbert played a role in convincing NBA Commissioner David Stern to nix a trade that would've sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, Brown says he remains positive for one simple reason.

"I understand that life is bigger than what we do," Brown said. "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."

Still, it's not hard to read between the lines when Brown didn't mention Gilbert or James when asked if he still maintains contact with any former or current Cavaliers. Instead, Brown offered that he's only kept in touch with former players Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anthony Parker, albeit on an infrequent basis via text message.

Still, it's not an accident that Gilbert tweeted Brown was "one of highest character human beings I have ever met" when the Lakers hired him.

"I understand this is a business," Brown said. "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."

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--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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