He doesn’t interfere, yet they know he’s there. “He’s got a really special quality of being here and then staying in the background at the same time,” Kerr said. “He gets it. I think that’s the way he approaches his life. He’s very modest and yet he’s very confident. He’s very knowledgeable and yet he listens. He’s never the know-it-all guy who has to show he’s the smartest in the room but he actually is the smartest in the room.”
However, the network’s lead analyst doesn’t think his employer will get what it wants. “I don’t think the Warriors will be challenged,” Van Gundy said. “I think they’ll be in the same situation as last year, up 3-1 coming home. In my time in the NBA, this is the biggest talent differential between the best team and the second best team. No disrespect to Cleveland, but I just think the Warriors are at a different level.”
But Lue already knows plenty about Brown. He also knows there’s a long-time bet to pay off. “I owe him 100 dollars from when I was a rookie,” Lue said with a laugh Saturday afternoon following the Cavaliers’ film and practice session. “He was with the Spurs and I was with the Lakers and I lost. I tried to pay him and he wouldn’t take the money so he says I always owe him. He’s always been a great guy.”
“It’s night and day,” Bradley said of the change in Stevens. “I’m just happy that I’m able to play for him. He’s a really great coach. And just like the guys on this team, he’s open, and I feel like he’s just a special coach because he just cares about us. And he cares about us becoming better basketball players and better men. I mean, all the guys that he brought in, all the speakers, I could go down the list. It shows that he really cares about us as men. And I just appreciate him for that. He’s definitely grown over these years.
They still talk, Curry and Brown. They talk and they text and they see each other when Curry visits Charlotte during the season or when Brown lends a hand at Curry’s summer basketball camp. “I remember telling him that I appreciated him letting me work his camp,’’ Brown said. “And he kind of looked at me funny and said, ‘You’re coach Brown. You’re my coach Brown.’’’