(Larry assures his starting five that there’s nothing objectionable about a going-away party at Bennigan’s, just so long as no one tells Darko)

Well, so much for Detroit being so consumed with Larry Brown’s career plans that they’d be less than focused against Miami.. Seriously, if last night is indicative of how the Pistons will handle Shaquille O’Neal for the rest of the series, Joe Dumars oughta take the advice of ESPN’s Marc Stein and dump Brown right now in favor of Chuck Daly. Heck, Tyne Daly could’ve coached Detroit last night the way they’re playing defense.

All of that said, if the Akron Beacon Journal’s Brian Windhorst is correct, my hysteria over Cleveland “tampering” with Brown was misplaced.

By the end of the regular season, when Cavaliers general manager Jim Paxson was fired, several of Brown’s former players and coaching friends in the league were whispering that he had designs on coming to Cleveland.

Shortly thereafter, the Cavaliers asked for permission from the Pistons to speak with Brown about a position in their front office. Insiders said the Pistons, eager to get out from Brown’s large contract and knowing he probably wouldn’t return, granted the request.

The news broke nationally last week after a report in the New York Times that Brown was close to accepting the post.

In response, the other top candidate for the job, Indiana Pacers vice president David Morway, informed the Cavaliers that he needed a decision by Monday night on whether they intended to offer him a position.

He withdrew his name Monday, a large hint that the Cavaliers had gotten some sort of assurance from Brown.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have hired Indiana Pacers assistant Mike Brown as their next head coach. A source close to Mike Brown said the deal was for three years and around $2.2 million per season. A fourth year is not guaranteed and can be bought out for $500,000.

He is expected to be introduced at a news conference Thursday at Gund Arena.

Brown already has been contacting potential assistants for his staff, but despite reports, insiders said former Philadelphia 76ers coach Randy Ayers and current Pistons lead assistant Gar Heard aren’t likely to receive spots.

Larry Brown is making close to $7 million per season with the Pistons, and he likely won’t be taking a pay cut to come to the Cavaliers. It is expected that he would get at least a four-year contract.

There have also been rampant rumors that one of the conditions is that he won’t live full-time in Cleveland if he takes the job.

We all know how well having an absentee GM worked out for the Wizards during Michael Jordan’s tenure. Seriously, if Dan Gilbert isn’t worried how all of this will affect LeBron James’ plans once his 3 year pact runs out, what about the near certainty the Cavs will be unable to contend for Darko’s services in a year’s time?