Mike Brown

Mike Brown still savoring Finals victory over the Cavs

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AP

Mike Brown still savoring Finals victory over the Cavs

OAKLAND -- Mike Brown will be seeing the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day. Please forgive him if he chooses to blind them with his new jewelry.

When the Cavaliers enter Oracle Arena next week to resume their continental rivalry with the NBA champion Warriors, Brown will be an assistant coach on the home team’s bench. And he’ll be very happy about that.

But not as happy as he is when asked about being a part of a Warriors team that went through the Cavaliers -- who fired him twice -- to win the NBA Finals last June.

Six months later and two months after receiving his flashy Warriors championship ring, Brown’s memory of that triumph is just as sweet.

“Yes,” he said on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast.

Brown spent 13 years on various NBA staffs before being hired by the Cavaliers in 2005 to be their head coach. He lasted five years, with Cleveland winning at least one playoff series each postseason and reaching the NBA Finals in 2007.

He was fired after the Cavs lost the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals and re-hired in 2013, signing a five-year contract worth a reported $20 million. He lasted all of one season before being shown the door a second time by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

So pardon Brown if takes particular delight in helping the Warriors bounce the Cavs when in mattered most.

“I don’t care who it would have been -- I wanted to win, just like everybody else in the organization and the city,” Brown said. “I still have a lot of friends back there. My son goes to school back there. He wears his Golden State Warriors gear proudly and he got hated on, too. You add all of that to the fact that I was there twice, and got fired twice. To be able to beat those guys was a terrific feeling.”

Brown served as interim head coach last postseason, leading the Warriors to a 11-0 record while head coach Steve Kerr took a six-week leave of absence to deal with acute health challenges. Brown led the Warriors to a 113-91 win in Game 1 of The Finals before Kerr returned for Game 2.

The memory of winning that series still puts a smile on Brown’s face.

“When I go back there, my head is held up a little higher,” he said. “I’ve got a nice little pimp in my walk. My chest is puffed a little bit. I don’t talk too much, but I’m feeling good when I’m back that way now.”

As much as Brown savors the victory in The Finals, there is another element that also warms his heart. The Cavs are still paying him and will for “a few more years,” he said.

Mike Brown explains why Warriors players respect the young 76ers

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AP

Mike Brown explains why Warriors players respect the young 76ers

On Saturday night in Philadelphia, the 76ers led the Warriors by 24 points early in the third quarter.

With about five minutes left in the game, Golden State led the game 115-97.

It was an incredible turn of events.

On Monday morning, Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown was asked about the 76ers during a radio appearance on KNBR 680.

"They're gonna be good. Right now, they're just kind of finding their way," Brown said. "The thing that I think our guys really like most about that group is -- they don't back down from anybody. They're confident in their abilities, they're confident in their team and they kind of let you know it.

"They talk about it during the course of a game. Our most vocal guy, Draymond, is like that and usually when Draymond shows respect to guys, the rest of our team follows."

Said Steph Curry: "They're on the right path. Waiting on Markelle to get back, and put all the puzzle pieces together but I'm sure they're ready to turn the page from building to actually cementing their idenity and how they're gonna be. I'm pretty sure they're close. They play an exciting brand of basketball. In the first half they showed if you're not ready to play, they can come out and do some amazing things."

[RELATED: Joel Embiid 'likes' Kevin Durant's postgame comments]

Kevin Durant on Ben Simmons: "Something I've never seen before as really playing the point guard at that height and that speed and that strength. You can tell he's an Aussie, too, because he doesn't mind getting into some scuffles or showing his little fiesty side. That's gonna mean well for the Sixers down the line ... all the amazing pieces that they have here ... they're gonna be a load coming up this year, next year, year after that."

Also -- Joel Embiid is hilarious and the world is a better place because of him.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Sources: On eve of NBA Finals, Kerr still undecided on Game 1 status

Sources: On eve of NBA Finals, Kerr still undecided on Game 1 status

OAKLAND -- Less than 24 hours before tipoff of the NBA Finals, Steve Kerr was still pondering whether he’s up to returning to the bench to coach the Warriors in Game 1 and beyond, multiple sources told NBCSportsBayArea.com Wednesday night.

Though Kerr has felt good enough to address the team before, during and after games, while also increasing his participation during practices, he is not expected to decide on his role before Thursday, in the hours before Game 1.

Acting coach Mike Brown said Wednesday afternoon that until he heard otherwise from Kerr that he expected to arrive at Oracle Arena Thursday night in the same role he has served since Kerr stepped down April 23.

“Well, he does seem like he's getting better,” Brown said during Media Day. “But I'm going to keep coaching until he says he can or can't do it. But he hasn't told me either way right now.”

Two sources close to Brown indicated nothing had changed Wednesday night.

The Warriors are 12-0 so far this postseason, during which Kerr coached the first two games and Brown the last 10. Kerr did not attend Game 3 of the first-round series against Portland but joined the team at Moda Center for Game 4 before missing the entire second-round series against Utah.

Though Kerr was with the team throughout its four-game sweep of San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals, he remained in the locker room for all four games.

That’s the likely scenario for Game 1 of The Finals -- unless Kerr decides on game day that he’s ready to resume full-time responsibilities.