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Issue Date: November 2013

Life According to ... Mike Brown

Coach, Cleveland Cavaliers

Interview by Patrick McManamon

During five seasons as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mike Brown reached the NBA Finals and twice won 60 games in a season. But after the 2010 playoff meltdown, he was fired, LeBron left and the team started over. Now, after just more than a year coaching Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, Brown returns to a team with an all-star point guard, this year's No. 1 draft pick and a bet on a former Lakers big man.

 The interview process to come back was more like a get-together. It felt natural. It almost felt like I was never gone.

 My son Cameron was the one who first brought up coming back here — basically the day I got fired in LA, if not the day after. Once he realized I was OK, the next thing out of his month was, "Does that mean we can move back to Ohio?"

 Cameron was playing on the JV football team, and it was playoff time, so he got called up to varsity. He was going to dress that night. Cameron said to me, "I don't want to go to my game tonight. I want to go home." I said, "There's nothing to be ashamed of." I said, "I'm proud of you guys. I'm proud you got moved up to varsity." I said I was going to the game.

 He looked at me like I was crazy, asked about all the questions. I said, "Buddy, they're questions. I'm going to answer the questions politely and enjoy watching you out on the field. I'm going to enjoy the game." Once he heard that and saw me follow up with it, he understood that the world did not revolve around me as the Lakers coach, but the world is the world. It revolves around people and how people see it, use it and go about their daily lives. That's just as important, if not more important, than me being the Lakers coach.

 It just helped mature me. It's made me a better person. It's made me a better coach. I think there are things that can be thrown my way going forward that I don't think will make me nervous.

 I did not watch The Decision. I'm not really a TV guy.

 In one of my first years here, Margo Skorepa sent me a letter. "I was watching the game the other night, and the frames you had on make you look like you have a big, fat head." I was like, This woman thinks I have a big, fat head? I have to call her.

 She comes by with all these frames. She's saying, "Ooh, I like that one, I like that one, I like that one." Next thing you know, she's about to leave, and I have about 25 frames.

 It's not as bad as Imelda Marcos' shoes.

 I do still iron my shirts before games. It relaxes me.

 Carolyn ... whew ... she's really the backbone of what our family is about. Without her, I'd be in a heap of mess and our boys would be too.

 Kyrie is talented — a young guy who can do a lot of things with the basketball — and his ceiling is unlimited.

 He can be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, point guard of all time. That's what makes it intriguing to be around him.

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