According to ESPN.com, Mike Brown has been fired as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers after five seasons.
Brown, who led the Cavaliers to the best record in the NBA the past two regular seasons only to be upset by the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference finals two years ago and in the semifinals by the Boston Celtics this season, had one year left on his contract.
ESPN.com reported that “a source close to the head coach told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher” that Brown had been fired.
If Brown has been let go, he’ll leave the Cavs with a .663 winning percentage (272-138), the best in team history, and with a franchise-tying-best five trips to the postseason. Lenny Wilkens also took the Cavs to the postseason five times.
Brown was named NBA Coach of the Year following the 2008-2009 season.
Finding a replacement could be difficult since the team has no idea whether LeBron James, the two-time reigning league MVP, will be returning to the club or heading elsewhere. James is expected to file for free agency July 1.
It was also believed Brown had to be fired before midnight Sunday or be paid his full $4.5 million salary for next season.