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Cavs, Mike Brown could reunite in Cleveland

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm •  Published: April 19, 2013

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers are seeking a respected, defensive-minded, hard-working teacher to be their next coach.

Those words describe Mike Brown, their former coach.

He could be their new one, too.

Brown, who along with superstar LeBron James led the Cavs to their greatest heights before he was fired three years ago, is one of the candidates the team intends to speak with as it looks to replace Byron Scott. The Cavs are in the initial stages of their coaching search after firing Scott, who went 64-166 in three seasons.

Brown's return — once thought too far-fetched — is a distinct possibility.

"It should be," James said following practice on Friday as the Miami Heat prepared for their playoff series opener against Milwaukee. "It should be real."

Brown is close friends with Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant, who would not answer a direct question about the team's former coach during a news conference to announce Scott's dismissal on Thursday. Grant, though, made it clear the Cavs need to improve defensively and would bring in a coach "who is strong defensively with proven systems."

Brown's forte is defense and during his time with Cleveland the Cavs developed into a sound defensive team, but one that relied on James to carry them offensively. James has credited Brown with making him a better defensive player and the current Cavs need some defensive discipline after finishing ranked last in the league in defense.

Grant and his staff spent Friday going over their list of potential candidates, which could include college coaches, NBA assistants and former head coaches who have been out of the league.

Scott Skiles, Stan Van Gundy, Avery Johnson and Mike Dunleavy are among the former NBA coaches who may be on the radar of Grant and owner Dan Gilbert, who will have an active role in the search to find Scott's successor. The Cavs will also scour a long list of up-and-coming assistants like Brian Shaw (Indiana), David Fizdale (Miami) and Mike Malone (Golden State), who previously worked on Brown's staff in Cleveland and is highly regarded.

Grant would like to get a coach in place as soon as possible, but won't rush the process. One of his first calls will likely be to Brown, who was fired just five games into this season by the Los Angeles Lakers. Coincidentally, and not related to Scott's dismissal, Brown is planning to move his family back to the Cleveland area.

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