The Cleveland Cavaliers made it official on Wednesday and announced the return of Mike Brown as the club's head coach.
Brown previously served as the Cavaliers' head coach for five seasons from 2005-10, compiling a regular-season record of 272-138 with playoff appearances each year. The highlight of his initial tenure was the club's only NBA Finals appearance in the spring of 2007.
The Cavs were led on the floor at that time by LeBron James, who quickly took his talents to Miami as a free agent the summer after Brown was fired in the wake of the team's 2010 playoff exit in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"I am thrilled to return to Cleveland to coach the Cavaliers," said Brown in a statement Wednesday. "The commitment ownership and management have shown in their efforts to build a successful team and organization is deep and I am excited to lead the team forward. Nothing would mean more to me and my family than to help bring success to this very special community and to all of our committed and loyal fans."
Byron Scott took over after Brown, and James, left. He had a record of just 64-166 during his three seasons on the bench.
Brown's new squad features a dynamic point guard in Kyrie Irving and other promising young players in Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. The Cavs were just 24-58 in 2012-13, closing the campaign with six straight losses and just four wins in their final 24 games.
"I am more than excited about Mike Brown's return to the Cleveland Cavaliers," said Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. "Mike has done nothing but win in this league since he was a first-year assistant many years ago. He is going to instill a much-needed defensive-first philosophy in our young and talented team that is going to serve as our foundation and identity as we continue down the path of building the kind of franchise that competes at a championship level for many years to come."
Brown returned to coaching with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2011-12 season, leading the squad to a record of 41-25 during the lockout-shortened year, which ended with a loss to Oklahoma City in the second round of the playoffs. He was then fired this past November after a 1-4 start just five games into his second year.
"Mike is an excellent head coach and a proven winner," said Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant. "He has a deep understanding of what it takes to succeed as a team and that will be integral to helping us reach our full potential. We are fortunate to have Mike back and I look forward to him leading our team to a very successful future."
Brown was the NBA's Coach of the Year in 2008-09 after guiding the Cavs to a 66-16 record and an appearance in the Eastern Conference finals. He has a career coaching mark of 314-167, the sixth-highest winning percentage in NBA history among those with at least 400 games coached.