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Report: Knicks to interview former Cavaliers and Lakers coach Mike Brown

Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 6: Assistant coach Mike Brown of the Golden State Warriors coaches against the Sacramento Kings on January 6, 2020 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Just 15 coaches in NBA history won at least 60% of their games in their first eight seasons (counting in-season takeovers only if the coach was retained the following year):

  • Phil Jackson
  • Pat Riley
  • K.C. Jones
  • Billy Cunningham
  • Gregg Popovich
  • Stan Van Gundy
  • Chuck Daly
  • Tom Heinsohn
  • John Kundla
  • Erik Spoelstra
  • Larry Costello
  • Scott Brooks
  • Rudy Tomjanovich
  • Mike Brown
  • Red Auerbach

Of those 15, 13 continued coaching longer. That type of success usually affords more opportunities.

The only two exceptions:

  • Billy Cunningham
  • Mike Brown

After eight seasons coaching the 76ers – winning 70% of his games and the 1983 championship – Cunningham resigned in 1985. He never returned to coaching.

Brown – who won 62% of his games with the Cavaliers, Lakers and Cavaliers – got fired (again) as Cleveland coach in 2014. Now a Warriors assistant, he’s still waiting for his ninth season as head coach.

Perhaps it’ll come with the Knicks.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Of course, a coach’s won-loss record doesn’t perfectly reflect his coaching ability. Brown had LeBron James in Cleveland and Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Talent matters. Brown also got fired quickly as the Lakers went south in 2012. Had they kept him longer, his record likely would have dropped.

But a coach who won 62% of his games is intriguing, regardless of the context.

Intriguing enough to overtake Tom Thibodeau? Probably not.

Intriguing enough for an interview? Sure.

This will be Brown’s second interview with New York, though the Knicks have a new front office with Leon Rose in charge.