Mike Brown hired, Cavaliers confirm

Kevin C. Cox

Mike Brown has officially returned to Cleveland.

The Cleveland Cavaliers officially announced Wednesday the hiring of Mike Brown as head coach to replace the departed Byron Scott.

Brown most recently coached the Los Angeles Lakers, but he was fired earlier this season after a slow start. Brown coached LeBron James and the Cavs from 2005-10, compiling a 272-138 record and winning the 2009 Coach of the Year award. Brown reached the playoffs in every single season in Cleveland and is the only coach in NBA history to get past the first round in each playoff appearance.

Brown was fired by the Cavs in 2010 in an attempt to appease James, who wound up bolting for Miami anyway. Brown returns to help bring some defensive stability to a Cavs team that never really improved on that end under Scott, although there's some question about whether this will have an effect on a possible James return.

Nevertheless, Cavs general manager Chris Grant is excited to have Brown back in the fold:

"Mike is an excellent head coach and a proven winner. He has a deep understanding of what it takes to succeed as a team and that will be integral to helping us reach our full potential, said Grant. "We are fortunate to have Mike back and I look forward to him leading our team to a very successful future."

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that Brown's new deal is for five years and is worth over $20 million, with the fifth year having a buyout clause. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Lakers will get some relief from the $6.5 million to $7 million owed to Brown over the next two years.

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