Clearly, Brown made a huge mistake in snubbing Ilgauskas on Saturday. It could have been an honest mistake (though I’d doubt it, given the heft of importance LeBron placed on the record) or perhaps it really wasn’t the right game for an Ilgauskas appearance. (Given that Ilgauskas might be the best big man on the roster, even at age 33, I’d doubt that too.) Brown has not yet addressed the matter, and the Cavaliers do have two more home games before the team’s next road trip. But the damage is done, clearly, whatever the excuse and reparation.
Okay. So to recap in case you’re not big on the clicky-clicky, Z was going to set the record for most games played in a Cavs uniform. This guy has stayed with the organization through the hard times and these recent successes. He’s gone through personal hardship, injury, playoff defeats, and getting sent to the 2nd tier for the guy that submarined the Suns and thinks he’s Walker, Texass Ranger.
And all he wanted was this one night. One stinking night. He invited family and friends to the Dallas game. It meant a lot to him.
And Mike Brown DNP-CD’d him.
I’m not kidding.
There’s no excuse for this. Not one. You think the Big Minus/Minus is the best way to go against the C-Level center he likes making fun of because he’s a small and petty human? Fine. Play him. I can get that. You want to establish that this team can win with Shaq on the floor before you get blown off the floor by superior coaching in the playoffs because you couldn’t diagram your way out of a paper bag? Fine. You want to run your team your way? That’s fine.
82 games. You’re telling me this one game, this one game, you couldn’t give the guy his due? After being such a huge part of the rebuilding process? After being a huge reason you made the Finals? Being a leader on the team? And gracefully moving from franchise player to solid teammate for LeBron James? He hasn’t earned one small measure of reward?
What, you didn’t know he invited his family and friends? You should. you’re his supervisor. You need to be aware of that. You want to preach that team coming together and playing for one another and all the Kumbaya stuff? Try recognizing an important night for a veteran who has done nothing but come to work for you every day.
I’ve overlooked his complete offensive incompetence, his over-reliance on Kuester last year (seriously, watching the head coach stand on the outside of a huddle down two in the ECF was sad). I’ve overlooked his massive failures in key situations. But honestly, if you’re going to be a player’s coach, it would be nice if you acted like you actually, you know, gave a rat’s ass about the player.
And to bring it back to the issue that everything comes back to, you’ve managed to piss off LeBron! “Hey, Global Icon with free agent status at the end of the season who has been to the Yankees parade and released a Yankees shoeline and expresses frustration at every turn. How’s about I piss off one of your friends on the team whose been there since you arrived? How does that sound? Whee! Look at my clipboard! I drew a smiley star!”
Mike, I hate to tell you, but… YOU’RE ON NOTICE.