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Cavaliers fire Mike Brown as coach

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced the surprise firing of head coach Mike Brown on Monday.

Brown finished the 2013-14 season with a 33-49 record in the first season of his second stint with the Cavaliers. He also served as coach of the Cavaliers from 2005-10, when he helped guide LeBron James and the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals. Brown was initially fired from the Cavaliers after the 2009-10 season shortly before James became a free agent.

The Cavaliers were disappointed Brown couldn't lead them to the playoffs this season in the weak Eastern Conference with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, a league source said. They also want a more up-tempo offense than what Brown ran, the source said.

Brown just completed the first year of a four-year contract. Between stints with the Cavaliers, he served as the Los Angeles Lakers' head coach for a little more than a season. The Lakers fired Brown five games into the 2012-13 season.

The Cavaliers will have their third coach since last offseason once the next one is hired.

"This is a very tough business," Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said in a statement. "It pains all of us here that we needed to make the difficult decision of releasing Mike Brown. Mike worked hard over this last season to move our team in the right direction. Although, there was some progress from our finish over the few prior seasons, we believe we need to head in a different direction."

The Cavaliers also announced David Griffin has been promoted to full-time general manager. Griffin will lead the search for a new head coach. Griffin has ties to two former Phoenix Suns coaches from his days in the Suns' front office: Mike D'Antoni who just resigned as the Lakers' coach and D'Antoni's longtime assistant and eventual replacement in Phoenix, Alvin Gentry, who serves an offensive coordinator role for Doc Rivers' staff with the Los Angeles Clippers.

"Our ownership support provides the highest level of resources, flexibility and commitment to aggressively do whatever we believe needs to be done in order to win. There is no harder working or better human being in our league than Mike," Griffin said in a statement. "This was not an easy decision."

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