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Cleveland Cavaliers

The Brown Backlash Begins Over Z

By George Thomas Published: December 1, 2009

Hey, everyone needs something to write about on a slow day when there's nothing really happening except Tiger Woods trying to protect his personal life and the Saints utter dismantling of defensive genius Bill Belichik's New England Patriots. So it was inevitable when LeBron James spoke regarding center Zydrunas Ilgauskas not getting into last Saturday's game against the Dallas Mavericks that there would be plenty of opinion out there. Take a peek:
From Tom Ziller at AOL Fanhouse:

As a frequent defender of Brown over his controversial tenure in Cleveland, bonehead mistakes like this only owe to his reputation as a bumbling dunderhead who can't stay out of his own way while managing a roster featuring the greatest player of this or maybe any generation. I don't think that reputation is fair in general, but it's certainly applicable in this situation.
For conspiracy theorists this analysis from Tom Delamater of the Bleacher Report:
Mike Brown (and possibly Danny Ferry himself, since it was his record that was about to be broken) have some explaining to do about why Ilgauskas was left on the outside looking in, on what should have been a night of celebration for him, and one of recognition for his noteworthy career as a Cavalier.
And for your basic everyday rant complete with name calling and the like, there's Matt Moore and Hardwood Paroxysm:
Mike, I hate to tell you, but… YOU’RE ON NOTICE.
And for a bit of rational thought from former ABJ columnist Terry Pluto on cleveland.com:
You also should have been aware that your 7-3 center told reporters a few days before the game that the record "is more valuable than the rebounds and blocked shots (which he also holds). ... With everything that I went through, to know that I put on a uniform more than anyone else in the 40 years [with the Cavs] is pretty good.
Where do I stand (as if anyone out there cares)?  It's simple, when Z told reporters last Friday that this record was more important to him than the rebounds and blocked shots record last Friday, I was taken aback.  But I probably shouldn't have been simply because of what he endured during the early part of his career with injuries.  Then, of course, there are the absolutely terrible teams he had to play on during the pre-LeBron era.
Mike Brown undoubtedly made a mistake.  But the name calling?  The questioning of his intelligence?  Gimme a break.
It's been completely and utterly blown out of proportion primarily because LeBron James answered a question honestly, as he should have.  You deal with the issue and you move on. For the record anyone who was there to hear James' comments you cannot determine from them just how miffed he was.  They were measured, thought out and he said more than once that he had little interest in causing strife.
The reality of the situation is this:  there was no intent on Brown's part to not play Ilgauskas.  I've written about the Cavs in some form or fashion for four seasons now.  Mike Brown isn't close to being the vindictive type.
But he does need to do something to right this wrong - apologize.  He missed a golden opportunity to do so after yesterday's practice.  But my guess is now that he realizes how much the record meant to Ilgauskas - something he should have known all along - he needs to apologize. Ultimately, my guess is he will - in private.  That should be good enough for everyone concerned.
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