The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to terms with Mike Brown on a four-year contract to make Brown the team’s new head coach. ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports the deal, worth $18.25 million, includes a team option for the final season; Brown is guaranteed $2.5 million that year even if the Lakers decline the option.
Brown, just 41, coached the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005 to 2009, compiling a 272-138 record and leading the Cavs to an NBA Finals appearance in 2007. In 2008/09, he earned Coach of the Year honors for pushing Cleveland to a league-best 66-16 record. Despite their regular-season success, the Orlando Magic ousted Brown’s Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lakers defeated the Magic in the subsequent Finals, their first of two straight championships.
The Cavaliers let Brown go following the 2009/10 season. His next gig? Serving as an assistant coach for his son's middle-school football team.
The Lakers’ hiring of Brown comes after a relatively quick search for a new head coach after Phil Jackson retired. Names of candidates the team was considering surfaced May 12, and less than two weeks later, Los Angeles found its man.