NBC Sports reports that in Shaquille O’Neal’s new tell all book titled: Shaq Uncut: My Story, the four-time NBA champion reveals some details about the relationship between former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James and head coach Mike Brown.
In an excerpt shared by NBC Sports, it was apparent that Shaq witnessed a testy relationship between the then Cavaliers superstar and his head coach:
"LeBron was a huge star. He was as big as I was in 2000 in L.A. when I was dominating the league. … Our coach, Mike Brown, was a nice guy, but he had to live on edge because nobody was supposed to be confrontational with LeBron. Nobody wanted him to leave Cleveland, so he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to do.
I remember one day in a film session LeBron didn’t get back on defense after a missed shot. Mike Brown didn’t say anything about it. He went to the next clip and it was Mo Williams not getting back and Mike was saying, “Yo, Mo, we can’t have that. You’ve got to hustle a little more.” So Delonte West is sitting there and he’s seen enough and he stands up and says, “Hold up, now. You can’t be pussyfooting around like that. Everyone has to be accountable for what they do, not just some us.” Mike Brown said, “I know, Delonte. I know.” Mike knew Delonte was right. …"
An earlier excerpt released from the book delved in to Shaq’s time with the Lakers and the strained relationship he had with Kobe Bryant, particularly after Bryant’s assault case. In the Cavaliers’ 2009-2010 season with both Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James the team finished with an NBA best 61-21 record and James was named the league MVP for the second year in a row. The Cavaliers were eventually upset in the playoffs in a stunning second round exit against the Boston Celtics, who eventually lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals. The next season, O’Neal joined the Celtics and James left for the Miami Heat.