When it comes to coaching the Nigerian national team, Mike Brown intends to use his time wisely.
Brown is the top assistant on Steve Kerr's staff with the Golden State Warriors. He was once the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers (twice).
Now, Brown is the new head coach of Nigeria. And while no one wants the world to be on hold because of the coronavirus, Brown is grateful he will have more time to develop his players.
“To have another year to grasp, not only the talent level of the team, but the direction the team needs to go and making sure we are able to put the best Nigerian team out there, it’s a welcomed advantage to have a little bit more time for a new guy like myself,” Brown told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
Along with the NBA season having been suspended, the Tokyo Olympics have been delayed for a year. They will now be held in the summer of 2021.
Since basketball is part of the Summer Games, everyone is expected to get a little more time to work on aspects such as filling out the roster and working on team chemistry.
Brown told Spears he intends to stay in contact with the Nigerian players.
"I just basically told them, 'Hey, this is where we are with everything now that the Olympics have been postponed.’ Just touching base with everyone about themselves, their families and that they are safe," Brown said. "And to reach out if you have any questions and concerns. But this is where we sit right now, and I will continue to send texts and calls as time goes on."
NBA forward Al-Farouq Aminu (Orlando Magic), shooting guard Josh Okogie (Minnesota Timberwolves) and power forward Chimezie Metu (San Antonio/Austin Spurs) were among those who played for Nigeria in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Brown, 50, compiled a 347-216 record with the Cavs and Lakers from 2005-14. He coached the Cavs during their first LeBron James-led run to the Finals in 2007.
Sam Amico covers the NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers for SI.com. Follow him @AmicoHoops.