LeBron James was asked about the possibility of his old coach taking over in L.A. after the Heat’s practice on Wednesday, and he was clear with his endorsement.

“If it’s true, when it’s official,” James said, “I think the Lakers got them a great coach.”

James and Brown were together for five years in Cleveland, in which they averaged 54 wins. In each of their last two seasons, they finished with the best record in the league. Even if you have the best player in the world on the floor, you don’t win 60-plus games two years in a row if you don’t have a very competent coach.

Brown’s strength was the defensive end of the floor. The Cavs ranked in the top seven defensively in three of his five seasons on the bench. And almost always, they were even better defensively in the postseason.

“Mike Brown was a great coach,” James said. “He gave us success that we hadn’t had before in that city. And it started with his defensive concepts. He brought in a defensive mind set that we didn’t have.”