Around the World (Wide Web)

Phillip Barnett —  May 25, 2011

From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: As for Brown, like most of the readers filling our Twitter feed, I have my reservations. He’s an excellent defensive coach, something the Lakers could obviously use, but there were serious and legitimate questions about his offensive creativity and, perhaps more importantly, Brown’s ability to manage egos. On the other hand, while it’s not an award I put a whole lot of stock in, Brown has been a Coach of the Year (’08-’09) and ran up a .663 winning percentage with the Cavs. Fair or not, though, Brown received tons of flak for the ways in which Cleveland failed through their postseason runs in the LeBron James era. In L.A., Brown would have far more frontcourt skill at his disposal than he ever had with the Cavs, which obviously can make any coach look a lot smarter.

From Matt McHale, By The Horns: The Bulls gave absolutely everything they had last night. It wasn’t enough. There are several stats from this game that blow my mind. LeBron James had a playoff career-best success rate at the free throw line (13-for-13) and Chris Bosh wasn’t far off that mark (10-for-11). The Heat — who ranked 12th in the league in free throw shooting (76.9 percent) during the regular season — hit their last 24 foul shots and finished 32-for-38 (84.2 percent), making their 38-22 advantage in free throw attempts even bigger than it already would have been. The Bulls outdueled the Heat 44-24 in the paint and scored 26 fast break points … and lost.

From John Krolik, Heat Index: It was the type of game that has plagued LeBron James throughout his playoff career, and the type of game that has kept him from getting a ring up to this point in his NBA career. A year ago, James led his team to a 2-1 series lead against one of the best defensive teams in basketball, only to be effectively shut down over the next three games. Those struggles against Boston’s defense were the first in a chain of events that saw him go from one of the league’s most admired players to one of the most hated athletes in American professional sports, in part because it wasn’t the first time it had happened to him. Time and again throughout his playoff career, when he was challenged by a defense that refused to give him easy lanes to the basket or easy passing lanes, LeBron came up short, whether it was against Detroit, San Antonio or Boston.

From Broderick Turner, LA Times: The Lakers have put together a deal to hire former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown as their new coach, an NBA official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said late Tuesday. If Brown agrees to the deal, he’ll sign a contract worth between $4 million and $4.5 million per season, the official said. Brown would sign for three years, with a team option on the fourth season that would give him partial pay if he was not retained. Brown, 41, became the front-runner because Jim Buss, the team’s executive vice president of player personnel, was impressed with his defense-minded style. Former Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman also was in the mix for the job and will remain a candidate to replace Phil Jackson if Brown turns down the deal from the Lakers.

From Mark Medina, LA Times: With conflicted feelings swirling in his mind, Lakers forward Luke Walton entered his exit interview ready to share his sentiments about playing for Coach Phil Jackson while honestly expressing his frustration over a diminished role. Over the years, Jackson has often joked that he viewed Walton as his “son,” with similarities running strong. They had both been hungry utility players, strong proponents of the triangle offense, and, in the eyes of many Lakers fans, the relationship resulted in Jackson elevating Walton to a role he didn’t deserve. Too bad that didn’t actually fit the reality of the 2010-2011 season, in which Walton played a career-low nine minutes per game, averaging just 1.7 points on 32.8% shooting even though his back was healthy. That’s why Walton’s exit interview was sentimental, because of the deep respect he has for Jackson, but  equally frustrating because of his diminished role.

From Janis Carr, OC Register: It’s not like Theo Ratliff doesn’t have enough to think about with his future hanging in the air and a lockout looming. But since his mother taught him to put others first, that’s exactly what the veteran center has been doing since the Lakers were ousted from the playoffs. Ratliff spent nearly a week spearheading an effort to help those in the storm-ravaged areas of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi, starting in Birmingham, Ala. Twenty-three trucks, filled with food, water and other supplies were sent out across the region. “I grew up in Alabama – born and raised – and when all this happened during the playoffs so I couldn’t do anything right away,” said Ratliff, who grew up in the small town of Demopolis, Ala. “My mom lives in Tuscaloosa and while she didn’t get hit by the tornado, down the street a mile or two was hit pretty hard.

Phillip Barnett

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25 responses to Around the World (Wide Web)

  1. Not excited about the idea of Mike Brown. I’m excited to see what he might be able to do on defense, but if our offense was already bad, I don’t expect it to get better.

  2. I too am excited to see what Mike Brown will do about our defense. This is the first defensive minded coach that I can remember the Lakers hiring since I’ve been following them.

    One thing to think about. I know that Mike Brown hired John Kuester as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator to help with things. Hopefully he hires someone to take over the offensive duties here as well.

  3. I think we need to get seriously realistic about what kind of an owner Jim Buss is going to be. Because of this, I–for one–am not terribly optimistic about the future of this franchise.

    We’ve been spoiled with Jerry and the times have been good. But we may be entering a bear market of sorts, sad to say…

  4. “Mike Brown” is some foreign language. I think it translates to “Uh Oh” in Laker Fan English.

  5. kehntangibles May 25, 2011 at 9:10 am

    @3 – hear, hear. And, while this is off-the-court drama in the strict sense, it does have a very tangible bearing on the long-term future of the Lakers. Are Jim and Jerry really that dead set on freezing out Jeanie? I know she’s no basketball guru, but she’s smart, is well-regarded at her job and would be savvy enough to let the basketball minds do the on-court stuff. I don’t get that sense from Jim

  6. Put me in the camp of being concerned about the future of the ownership. Jim does not have a record of success in any of the business and sports opportunities Jerry has given him. Jeannie has done well with similar opportunities.

    Jeannie strikes me as having the same kind of balance that made Jerry a great owner. Hiring smart people and giving general input but not delving into the minute details.

    Unfortunately Jerry has decided only a male is worthwhile to carry on the family legacy. I was really hoping the past decade working in the offices had seasoned Jim more. But early signs are not good. I will continue to try and be optimistic but wary at the same time.

  7. Not happy about this one at all. Shaw or Adelman were my picks unless we could hit a homerun and pull Jerry Sloan back into the NBA. I know Brown is a good defensive coach and I don’t doubt that we’ll be better on D, but how is he gonna manage the egos and the offense. Unless Kobe is essentially the offensive coach (which even as a devout KB fan from his rookie season, I think would be a horrible, horrible idea) then we might be effed in the a.

  8. Mike Brown can command the respect of Kobe? Really? I have a feeling things might get ugly next year

  9. The Dude Abides May 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Ugh…this could be worse than Rudy :(

  10. Brown is young – 41. Closer to Jim’s age. Jerry has said that they plan to only “tweak” the roster, but going with Brown suggests otherwise.

  11. Mike Brown, wow that was a blindside surprise move by Jimbo & Cupcake. After the Phil Jackson era, Lakers went down spiraling and playing CHEAP. It’s all about profit taking on 50% savings from Coaches salary of10M to 4.5M, never mind the opinion of the fans and the legends. Mitch shipped Sasha to NJ as profit motive move, I also recall he snubbed two 2nd rd draft picks as profit taking move, well, those decisions haunted us in 2011. If MBrown is the new Coach, how are we going to pare in the playoffs of 2012? The feeling is like about losing Chick Hearn’s voice again, no creativity nor wisdom in the choice. It is about rolling the dice on pure frugality and see if it works. If it does not work then fire him next season which another wasted year for Kobe.

  12. If the Lakers wanted to go cheap, I would have much preferred that they plucked a successful assistant coach and tabbed him as the new head coach. Mike Brown’s history worries me. Sure he has something like a 66% winning rate, but that’s during the regular season. His success is akin to a glass cannon – effective, but REAL easy to break under pressure. I don’t see him leading the Lakers with adjustments during a playoff series. Does anyone here? His defense might be what the Lakers need, but as far as offense goes, I think we can all agree that anyone of us can successfully coach an isolation for Lebron (and now Kobe?)

    At least it’s not Kevin McHale (not that we’d hire anyone who’s green) What is Houston thinking!?!?!

  13. Edwin,
    Considering the size of their payroll, you can’t really accuse them of being too frugal.

  14. I agree, with the highest payroll in the NBA it’s hard to call the Lakers frugal. They’re just trimming some fat and by this analogy Luke Walton is the fat friend in the group.

  15. Ex,

    What u said is the aftermath effect why they have to go frugal. Analyze these situations: the coming lockout, the vague picture of new CBA rules, the departure of a high profiled coach, the over payment of contracts for non performing players, therefore as a businessmen what is the best move? Be frugal. Any coaching choice after Phil will be a void anyway, so why not go for an interim Coach by paying him less while Lakers would be restructuring its roster.

  16. Edwin,
    This is the result if you have three highly paid players, and they are already paying Lamar less than what he is worth.

  17. Mike Brown is a perfect transition from the days of PJ, especially if there will be a shortened season. If this hiring does not go well, the Lakers can discard Brown with ease. Much as was the case with Tomjanovich. Brown has no loyalist within Laker Nation, so essentially, it will be a one year test and much less if the season is shortened as expected.

  18. EX,

    Yes I understand that they have three highly paid players so therefore why not go for a Coach that is something palatable in the post PJ era. These are my choices in this order: Sloan, Adelman, Van Gundy, Shaw. Brown and Dunleavy are longshots sending a message that you don’t want to compete. The latter are chosen to fill the lockout vacancy period. It is either that or JimBuss has gone haywire again with his connection with Laker fans. You know what by March, if this experiment does not work in April ’12, guess what will happen in the Laker land? A giant sound heard of “trade me now”.

  19. @16

    You make a lot of sense. I’m sure the impending lockout and changing nature of the CBA has owners and GM’s across the league looking at things differently. I just can’t help but see this as a sign the Lakers are going in a much different direction. And if so we may have to throw out many of the assumptions we took for granted over the last three years. Hopefully, championship contention is not one of them.

  20. Edwin,
    Define “palatable” – every one of those names you mentioned has negatives as well as positives. There are no clear choices. Brown is as good a choice as any of them.

  21. Change is good, you cant continue to do the same things and expect different results. LA has to shake things up in order to stay relevent, if the Zen Master could not help this team develop chemistry and want to play for the greater good there is no one out there that could. Nothing last forever or stays the same, to think other wise is fatal.

  22. Ex,

    Palatable means acceptance to the taste or mind of a typical Laker fan. As you can see, you’re only one of the few who agrees on Mike Brown. Therefore, Mike Brown is palatable to your excruciating taste. lol!

    Well, it’s now official Lakers has announced of hiring Mike Brown for four more years. There’s no use of crying over a spilled milk. He could be the last coach of Kobe w/ the Lakers. Is this a fore shock or just an after shock of what we lies ahead? IMO, it’s back to years between 93-99, let’s see and I hope I’m wrong.

  23. Edwin,
    “Palatable means acceptance to the taste or mind of a typical Laker fan”

    Then there is no one available for this position, because the only other current coach with multiple titles is Popovich, and he’s not coming here.

  24. Ex,

    A fan will settle for less than PJ but to go for Mike Brown or even consider an ex Laker coach Dunleavy is just going to the extreme. As I said if the triumvirate had chosen Adelman, Van Gundy or B. Shaw, at least you will not hear this kind raucous remarks here. Of course, it is just a first impression of Mike Brown, a 2x loser, first losing playoff after playoff with Cleveland, secondly, losing LBJ, the Ohio native to stick with Cavs. is this because of Mike Brown previous coaching and no coaching at all? I compare that event to a losing a key man in a Company because he dislikes his immediate supervisor. It is surely a let down as a long time Laker fan. As I said earlier, I hope this fan is wrong, let’s wish for the experiment of Mike as coach and Jim Buss as the new successor owner a success.