*Mike Brown has been confirmed as the new coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brown and the Lakers agreed in principle Wednesday to a four-year, $18.25 million deal, according to league sources. The Lakers are scheduled to make the official announcement this afternoon.
Brown, who is currently in Cleveland, will sign a contract later this week to become the 22nd coach in Los Angeles history, according to ESPN.
The development is a victorious comeback for Brown, who was fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers almost a year ago to the day. Now, the 41-year-old Brown, the winningest coach in Cavaliers history, is leading one of the most prestigious and successful franchise in modern basketball history.
The contract is a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year. If the Lakers don’t pick up the option, Brown is guaranteed to receive $2.5 million.
Brown’s union with the Lakers came together quickly. An ESPN analyst and the 2008-09 NBA coach of the year, he emerged as the leading candidate for the vacancy created when Phil Jackson retired after a strong face-to-face interview Saturday with Lakers brass including executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss, ESPN The Magazine reported.
Brown, 41, guided Cleveland to the 2007 NBA Finals and two trips to the Eastern Conference finals in five seasons with the Cavaliers, posting a record of 272-138.
According to ESPN, Lakers brass did not consult Kobe Bryant during their coaching search as had been rumored, but sources say Bryant has great respect for Brown and is on board with the hiring.