Mike Brown, an NBA Coach of the Year award winner and from 2005 to 2009 the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is a candidate to replace Phil Jackson as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Brown joines Lakers assistant Brian Shaw, former L.A. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy and former Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman among leading candidates for the position, vacated with Jackson's retirement following the Lakers' dismissal from the NBA Playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks.
Brown currently works as a studio analyst for ESPN. He was fired by the Cavaliers after five seasons at the helm; under his direction, Cleveland went to the 2007 NBA Finals, where the team was swept by the San Antonio Spurs. In Brown's final season, during which his star LeBron James won the MVP, the Cavaliers finished the regular season with the league's best record but were dismissed in six games by the Boston Celtics in the second round.
Brown has a reputation as a defensive-minded coach; Cleveland actually brought in an "offensive coordinator" late in his tenure. Dunleavy is also considered a defensive-minded coach; Adelman's team have typically been more well-known for their offenses. Shaw has never been a head coach.