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Sports & Recreation

Best Pro Coach 

Mike Brown

When Danny Ferry hired a rookie head coach, he was counting on three veteran free agents to make the transition easier. Instead, Larry Hughes missed much of the year due to injury, while Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones barely showed up. That left LeBron and . . . well, that's about it. But Brown, who at 36 is the league's second-youngest coach, persevered with class. He slowly put in place the defensive building blocks that carried the Cavs all the way to a seventh semifinal game against the Pistons. And while Brown could stand to get more creative on offense, he was smart enough to get the ball into the right hands at the end of close games. Best of all, Brown's management created a drama-free locker room -- which in today's NBA is a worthy feat in and of itself.

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