The Cleveland firing squad has been in full force recently. Two professional sports teams in Cleveland, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cleveland Browns, fired their head coaches in the same week.
The Browns’ decision to fire coach Hue Jackson came after the team’s loss to the Pittsburg Steelers in week eight of NFL play. Jackson spent two years as the Browns head coach and posted a 3-36-1 record. This season, he coached the team to a disappointing start with a 2-5-1 record.
The team has struggled recently to establish a presence in the league. However, Cleveland’s front office felt the addition of key players from the NFL draft, including Heisman trophy winner Baker Mayfield and defensive pick Myles Garrett, should have given Jackson enough assets to win. By failing to produce results, Jackson’s role as a leader of the organization was terminated by the front office.
Although Jackson already doubled his win total from the past two seasons this year, reports of internal discord likely played a role in his dismissal. The coach set many records during his time in Cleveland, including the worst head-coaching record for one team in NFL history.
In his absence, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was named the interim coach.
Jackson was not the only coach in Cleveland under fire. The Browns’ decision to fire the head coach came just one day after the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to fire head coach Tyronn Lue.
After another disappointing finish to last season, the team’s star player, LeBron James, made his decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers. In his absence, Coach Lue and the Cavaliers have struggled to win, boasting an 0-6 start to the NBA season.
When LeBron was in Cleveland, Lue led the team to four straight NBA finals appearances, one of which resulted in a championship in 2016. However, this is not the first time LeBron has left the Cavaliers during free agency. When he left the team to join the Miami Heat in 2010, Cleveland went from winning 61 games the previous year to a mere 19. The team may face a similar fate this season.
Upper management expected a strong year from the team despite the absence of their best player. However, similar to the Browns head coach, it is also rumored that Lue was involved in disagreements with some of the players and the front office.
Many of his current and former players expressed their appreciation for the coach via twitter. Coaches around the NBA did the same. The decision to fire the coach is considered by many to reflect the harsh business aspect of the game.
Lue’s career-win percentage with Cleveland is .672. In his absence, the organization has named assistant coach Larry Drew as interim leader. With 76 games remaining for the Cavaliers this season, the team still has a chance to bounce back.
In military terms, the firing squad is symbolic. The execution of a serviceman is performed by a group of his or her peers following the entire group finding the member guilty. Both the Cavaliers and the Browns seem to have made full use of this principle recently.