In five years coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mike Brown won everything, except an NBA title. For that, Brown, the most successful coach in franchise history, was fired Monday.
Brown's dismissal had been expected since the Cavs were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs, a stunning exit for a team favored to win it all. In five seasons, Brown, who had one year left on his contract, went 314-177 and was the league's coach of the year in 2009. But the Cavs, despite having the best regular-season record the last two years, fell short of winning their first title.
The team now faces an uncertain future with LeBron James, the league's two-time MVP, eligible for free agency.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert made the decision following an organizational review that began following the Cavs' sudden collapse. Cleveland had a two-games-to-one series lead over the Celtics before losing three straight, including the final two at home by a combined 50 points.
"The expectations of this organization are very high and, although change always carries an element of risk, there are times when that risk must be taken in an attempt to break through to new, higher levels of accomplishment," Gilbert said in a statement. "This is one of those times."
Steve Nash has a small nasal fracture but says he doesn't expect it to be a problem for him in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, Tuesday night in Phoenix.
The Suns' playmaker was hurt in a fourth-quarter collision with Derek Fisher in Phoenix's 118-109 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. He spoke briefly with reporters before leaving to have the nose put back in place by a specialist. The official diagnosis was a "minimally displaced nasal fracture with displaced cartilage."
Nash played the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Western semifinals with his right eye swollen shut after taking an inadvertent elbow from San Antonio's Tim Duncan.
The Indiana Pacers say guard A.J. Price will need four-six months to heal from a knee injury he suffered while playing in a charity basketball game in New York over the weekend.