Kyrie Irving

There are too many great storylines in this year’s NBA Finals to count on one, and maybe even two, hands. Among the undercards is Warriors interim coach Mike Brown going against his former franchise and some of his former star players.

After coaching LeBron James in Cleveland for five seasons, Brown returned to the Cavs for the 2013-14 season when Irving was the franchise’s budding star. But the two clashed as Brown tried to mold Irving’s game, and David Blatt eventually replaced Brown during the ensuing offseason. Who knows what would have happened if the Cavs held on to Brown — Kyrie reportedly wanted out unless a coaching change occurred — but he signed a five-year extension that summer that still has him in Cleveland.

For the first time, Irving expressed some regrets about that season and his relationship with Brown. From’s Brian Windhorst:

“It was a learning experience, to say the least,” Irving said. “I kind of regret being part of that, because he was just trying to teach me a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily understand as a 21-year-old in the NBA.”


“I understand that things happen in this league sometimes, whether controlled or uncontrolled,” Irving said. “I was a 21-year-old kid, just trying to lead a franchise, and he was a new head coach that I had to get introduced to a new offense, new players, as well as new system.”

However, Irving shared no regrets about his belief that the Earth is flat.

Considering Brown has a chance to win a title against the franchise that fired him twice, you’d think there might be some extra incentive. If there is, the Warriors coach did not let on:

“A lot of people have said this to me, and maybe I am made up differently — I’m not looking at this as Cleveland fired me twice, this is the time to get back at them, or is there any extra incentive?” Brown said. “No, I just want to win. I don’t care who it is, I just want to be a part of a winning program and be the last team standing.”

Man, this series should be awesome. We’ll see if Brown can get his first title — even as an interim — or if Irving can get his second.


About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.