The Education of Mike Brown

LeBron James's coach has had a lot of success -- most notably taking a so-so roster to the Finals. But Brown takes a ton of heat from fans and critics, mainly for not having a more inventive offense during last year's playoff run.

In a lengthy Mike Brown profile by Joe P. Tone of Cleveland Scene, the coach admits defeat on that front, and tells how he went about righting a wrong:

The result is a relationship that's as close as any GM-coach tandem in the NBA. Ferry lurks at nearly every practice. After games, they meet to debrief. Then, when the assistant coaches leave, "Danny and I will sit and we'll talk," says Brown. "It's good for me to hear Danny's perspective . . . Depending on how I'm feeling, Danny could be there with me until one in the morning."

After the Finals last summer, the two met to review the season. But this time, Brown didn't quite appreciate Ferry's perspective. While Ferry is cut from the same defense-first cloth, he saw the Finals the same way fans did: The Cavs' offense just didn't work.

"He's watching the practices, he's watching the games, he's watching us struggle," Brown says. "And that was one of the things he told me. At first, you get offended. You just won 50 games. Screw you!"

Ferry urged Brown to spend time during the off season with Ettore Messina, an Italian coach known for offensive creativity.

"You get defensive," Brown says. "Your insides start to boil over. What does he know? He's not in my shoes!"

But Brown, famous for his devotion to film, had watched the same games that Ferry had. And while it pained him to admit it, he'd come to the same conclusion. "Offensively," he says, "we were horrible."