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Brown goes out graciously

CLEVELAND — Mike Brown took the high road out of town.

Fired by Cleveland after winning 127 regular-season games the past two seasons but not an NBA title, Brown called his five years with the Cavaliers an “exceptional experience.”

Brown, who had not publicly commented since his dismissal, issued a statement through the Cavs on Wednesday in which he thanked his team, general manager Danny Ferry and owner Dan Gilbert for the opportunity to coach in Cleveland. The 40-year-old Brown was fired in the aftermath of a second-round playoff collapse to Boston.

“The past 5 years have been an exceptional experience,” Brown said. “I have been very fortunate to lead a group of men who I respect and thoroughly enjoyed coaching on a daily basis. At the same time, I was able to work alongside a terrific coaching staff and with Danny Ferry and a basketball operations team, all of whom I have a profound respect for.

“We partnered in creating a culture and a standard that I am, and will continue to be, very proud of. None of which would be possible without the dedication and support of Dan Gilbert. I am thankful for the opportunity that he gave to me and my family. We have a deep appreciation for Northeast Ohio, the Cleveland Cavaliers organization, and the people in this community, and have enjoyed making this our home.”