Indiana’s short list of coaching candidates just keeps getting longer. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, former Pacers assistant Mike Brown is now among the litany of names expected to interview for the gig, joining Jacque Vaughn, Dave Joerger, and Mike D’Antoni as the only rumored possibilities with former head coaching experience.
Since serving as an assistant to Rick Carlisle in Indiana from 2003-05, including the season that shall not be named, Brown has been head coach of both the Cavs (twice) and the Lakers, leading the former to an NBA Finals appearance in 2007 while also earning Coach of the Year honors. Over the last four seasons, Brown has worked as an associate head coach with the Golden State Warriors, where he’s witnessed two championship runs as well as a less structured playing style.
Prior to when he was dismissed by the Lakers following a slower than expected 1-4 start, Brown reportedly drew criticism the prior season for his micro-management on offense, repeatedly calling sets rather than allowing his players to make reads. Given that the Pacers are in the market for a modern communicator who can relate to today’s players, the 50-year-old, defensive-minded tactician will either need to relax his prior approach, perhaps based on what he’s seen with the Warriors, or be able to successfully sell the team on why a balance of both is arguably needed for a roster without a clear top scoring option in the wake of Oladipo’s continued recovery.
Along with Brown, the Pacers are expected to interview a dozen other current assistants from around the league, including San Antonio’s Becky Hammon and Will Hardy, Miami’s Dan Craig and Chris Quinn, Dallas’ Jamahl Mosley and Stephen Silas, Milwaukee’s Darvin Ham and Charles Lee, Orlando’s Pat Delany, Minnesota’s David Vanterpool, Philadelphia’s Ime Udoka, and Portland’s Nate Tibbetts.
Brown registered a 305-187 mark across both of his stints with the Cavs, and none of his teams have ever ranked below 10th in defensive rating across a full season.