Why Mike Brown Hasn't Called You Back
He is Rajesh Kumar, 24, from Delhi, India, who recently completed his Master's degree in engineering at New York University, and has been in the U.S. for about two years. He lived for a month in Cleveland in August 2008, when he acquired the cell number with the 216 area code that used to belong to Brown, fired late Sunday night as Cavaliers coach.
After Kumar first got his number and started getting a few phone calls for Brown, he Googled his name and figured out who he is. Kumar would get calls from time to time for Brown and text messages after games, but it wasn't too much of a distraction.
"I have gotten over 150 phone calls since (Monday),'' Kumar said Tuesday afternoon in an interview with FanHouse from New York. "I took a nap and I woke up and I had 37 voice mail messages. I thought Mike Brown must have lost a big match.''
Pardon Kumar's terminology.
"I'm a fan of cricket,'' said Kumar, who later was able to find out Brown's firing was the reason for all the commotion. "It's a very exciting sport.''
Kumar doesn't know who most of the callers have been since he simply tells them they have the wrong number. As for the messages left on Kumar's voice mail, which has an automated recording rather than his voice or name, he has deleted them immediately.
"I only get one or two phone calls a day,'' Kumar said of the possibility of missing a message actually intended for him. "If it's important, they'll call back.''
But Kumar did say he got a call asking for Brown from somebody identified as being from the office of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. The call ended after Kumar said it no longer is Brown's number.
So why would Bloomberg's office be calling Brown? Well, Bloomberg did speak May 14 on his weekly radio show on WOR-AM (710) about believing Cleveland star guard LeBron James, who had played for Brown, would want to sign with New York or New Jersey when he can become a free agent this summer.
"Rumors are that both the Knicks and the Nets would like to get him,'' Bloomberg said on his show. "I would never take sides on that, but I think it would be great for New York if he would come here. ... If asked, if (James) calls me and says 'What's it like to live in New York?' I'll give him a big sales pitch for New York.''
Don't ask Kumar, though, to speculate about any relationship between Bloomberg, Brown and James. Kumar knows little about James.
"I had heard of him,'' said Kumar, saying he learned of James before he got Brown's old cell number but couldn't speak much about him. "I'm not sure when I heard of him.''
Kumar's number was Brown's at least through the 2007-08 season. After he got his number, Kumar began receiving some calls for the coach.
"After about a week, I realized he must be a celebrity,'' Kumar said. "I wondered who this Mike Brown was. So I Googled him.''
While Kumar didn't follow Cleveland, he noticed he often would get text messages after matches, er, games. They would be congratulatory if the Cavaliers won and offer condolences if they lost.
But, considering all the recent distractions, one wonders if Kumar has any plans to get a different number.
"No,'' he said. "It will die down.''
That is, if his actual phone doesn't die first due to all of the calls Kumar is receiving.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson