UPDATE: There are no more questions. Mike Brown will be the next head coach of the Lakers. It’s being reported that the deal is for 4 years/18.25 million. The 4th year is a team option that will guarantee Brown 2.5 million even if he’s not retained.
Coincidentally (or maybe not), the 3 fully guaranteed years are the exact amount of time that remain on Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol’s current contracts. Ron Artest’s player option (which can be excercised after the end of next season) also run through the next three seasons (if picked up) as does Steve Blake’s original 4 year deal.
Chris Broussard (who broke the story of the contract being done) also tweets that Kobe is on board with this hiring, though earlier reports stated that Kobe was surprised by Brown being the choice. I think our old pal Kurt nails it when he states that Kobe’s public reaction will have to back this move but that the proof of his support will come in training camp when he’ll need to buy into what Brown teaches and preaches on both sides of the ball.
Over the past 12 hours, reports have surfaced that the Lakers will hire Mike Brown as the new head coach for the Lakers. While ink has not yet been put to paper and there still being room for the Lakers to go in another direction, this is looking more and more like a deal that will get done.
In looking at this move, the first reason that comes to mind is that Mike Brown can coach defense and that’s an area where the Lakers were not as strong this year. They may have finished the year 6th in defensive efficiency but actually hovered between 10th and 12th for most of the year. Dallas dissected the Lakers D with surgical precision and addressing how to get better execution on that side of the ball is a must.
And what fans can’t question about Brown is his ability to coach defense. He consistently got his teams to perform on that side of the ball despite not having a lot of top shelf defensive talent to work with. Coming from strong defensive coaching stock (being a Popovich disciple) has helped him develop schemes that can account for giving major minutes to players like Big Z or Mo Williams. Surely the Lakers are looking for similar results with much better defensive talent (as a whole) at his disposal.
All that said, the gut response from Laker fans has been quick and mostly derisive of this (potential) move. They remember Brown as the man that’s flamed out of the playoffs and failed to meet the championship expectations as head man in Cleveland. As the man that couldn’t diagram an offensive set and often allowed LeBron James to dictate how the offense would work. And while those concerns have some merit, Phillip raised some good points on Brown as an offensive coach:
The Cavaliers had the sixth best offensive rating in the 09-10 season (111.2) and the fourth best in the 08-09 season (112.4); not to mention that he didn’t exactly have the cream of the crop in terms of offensive fire power outside of LeBron James. Last season, Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Anderson Varejao and Delonte West (Antwan Jamison, too when healthy) all played at least 25 minutes per game, and Brown was still able to lead the Cavaliers team to 61 wins…
…While I cannot say that Brown will be much improved on the offensive side of the floor with a greater collection of talent, I can say that it won’t hurt. The Lakers, as they currently stand, have a collection of highly skilled ball players with very high basketball IQs, so incorporating more complicated sets to his scheme may be a bit easier knowing you have more than one guy who can go out and get you 20+ on any given night.
Also understand that when the Cavs were eliminated in the playoffs and Brown’s offensive creativity (or lack there of) was questioned most, the opponent was the Celtics. Those same Celtics that dissected the Triangle in 2008 and gave the Lakers all they could handle in 2010. Those same Celtics that know how to limit a key offensive weapon and force other players into positions where they need to make plays to loosen up the defense. If you’re going to measure Mike Brown on his ability to diagram offense that’s great enough to topple those defenses you’ve raised the bar pretty high. This isn’t to absolve Brown, but I think perspective is needed if judging his offense solely on the results from those series.
I think it’s also worth noting that Brown’s lack of creativity on offense were criticisms that Erik Spoelstra suffered through most of this year as Heat coach. The common thread here is LeBron James. It may just be that utilizing a talent like James and catering to his skill set may lead to the P&R and isolation heavy sets we’ve seen from both coaches. Still though, the fact is that perception can quickly become reality and many still feel that Brown can’t coach offense. I’ve been one that’s questioned his ability to diagram sets and wonder how creative he can be on that side of the ball even if he is blessed with greater talent.
My other main concern is whether or not he’s built for the spotlight, pressure, and media barrage he’ll face as coach of the Lakers. He lacks gravitas and doesn’t have the skins on the wall to deflect media criticism the way that Phil Jackson did. When the media questions his rotations or strategy or a specific play call, how will Brown handle it? The expectations, with this group, are to get to and win in the Finals. That’s a big burden to carry in any city but to face that in Los Angeles is to increase it ten fold. If he’s not ready to deal with the inherent drama of coaching this team, the egos of the players that he’s tasked at leading, or the inquiries from a press corps that will not take prisoners we will know rather quickly. There’s no place to hide when you coach the Lakers.
In the end, though, I’m not nearly as down on this move as many seem to be. Brown, for all his warts has won a lot of games in this league and maxed out the talent he had at his disposal. In the 2008-09 season his team won 66 games. The following year his team won 61. He was able to rally his team and consistently get them on the same page to be successful as a group. Understand that getting a team lead by a single star with multiple role players to all go 100% without there being dissention is also a strong act of leadership. This leads me to believe that a roster of experienced veterans that understand the stakes of championship basketball will also come together under his stewardship. Maybe I’m naïve, but the core of this team has been through all the battles before and after this past years failure will be hungry to get back to the mountain top. Mike Brown is a coach that should also have that same hunger to succeed after falling short in his final two seasons in Cleveland. To me, both the coach and the players are already starting from the same common ground.
I understand the questions and concerns. This isn’t a move that screams big splash and certainly lacks cache. The fact that this is the Lakers and they’ve hired Mike Brown, seems like the team is settling. Even for me, he wasn’t my first choice as the man to step into Phil Jackson’s shoes. That said, I see the merits of giving him this job and it’s an idea I can get behind. In the end, though, the proof will be in the results. And for those, we all must wait and watch together.
I am biased because I thought this guy did a horrible job in cleveland offensively and handling pressure, but this is a stupid move. I doubt he will last 2 seasons.
My main concern is if he couldn’t control LeBron from dominating the ball and going into a iso heavy, P/R offense, how is he going to do with Kobe?
One of the biggest challenges in upcoming years is getting Kobe to integrate his game into the offense as he is in the declining arc of his peak. If Kobe takes the majority of his shots within the offense, the team is very hard to defend and beat. He’s no longer good enough to carry the team by going with simple p/r or iso sets.
All the other questions marks like handling the media and offensive savvy I think are small risks. He was already under quite the glare with Bron. I don’t think dealing with LA media will be exponentially tougher.
chris y says
this is a very surprising move by the Lakers I don’t think Mike brown is as bad a coach as people think, certainly he has chops on the defensive end….but how does kobe feel about this? should we care? does he want to be coached by the same guy who coached lebron. does he think about that? will he respect brown? this will be interesting. what do you think darius .
at first I was turned off by this because I really didnt want Brown over Adleman or Shaw, but I think this could work.
We could become an elite force defensively in the league. My major qualm about this hire is the offense. He had reputation for questionable offensive sets in cleveland and his offense flourished via 3 point shooters who could spread the floor (the Lakers dont have good shooters like that). The second concern I have is that this has Jim Buss written all over it, which could mean he’ll be even more involved in the decision making in the future.
Craig W. says
Land O’ Lakers has a Q&A with John Krolik about Mike Brown’s coaching. It refers to a Krolik article in FEB 2010, when he was still coaching the Cavs, and has a lot of good stuff. http://www.cavstheblog.com/?p=1567
It’s a good read, whether you are bummed out or just curious.
For those who demand someone who has experience and won a ring — there aren’t any of those people out there, but Mike Brown at least got to the finals.
Brian Kamenetzky talked with John Krolik from Cavs: the blog who offered insights about Mike Brown as a coach and his offensive schemes.
I think this provides some good information about Mike Brown from someone who covered him when he coached the Cavs
Darius Soriano says
#2. Maybe I didn’t make this clear in the post, but I think a lot of Brown’s offensive strategy was to build an offense around the strengths of LeBron. A lot of that is putting him in isolations and P&R’s where he could use his incredible skill set at his size to hurt defenses. So, I think the whole “LeBron broke the offense to go iso” or “Mike Brown can’t coach offense” is a bit overstated. Not saying there’s not truth in those statements, I just don’t think it was as prevalent as some make it out to be.
I’ve read about this being a move to drive up the value of Mike Brown’s contract to the Warriors and also as a move to drive down the asking price of Rick Adelman. Whether or not this is true, who knoww? I’m sure a ton of stuff is floating around about this.
I’ll remain curiously optimistic, but I’m not sure Mike Brown has completely gone through the growing pains of succeeding in the playoffs.
This a great hire. Brown won 60 games twice in 5 years with nothing but Lebron James. He went to the NBA finals in 2007 with a team that looked like the Lakers of the Smush Parker days, and has a coaching % of 663. His starters in 2007 with LeBron were, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Eric Snow, and Ilgauskas. He and Lebron worked miracles in Cleveland. he will be the next great Lakers coach.
I’ll give everyone here my second hand insider information on Mike Brown. My good friend is family friends with the Cavs owner. They several times had dinner with Mike Brown when he was a Cav. I would make fun of how dumb Brown was as an offensive coach with player movement as motionless as a Derek Fisher defensive possession. My friend Todd told me Brown came off as smart and as charming a basketball coach you will ever come across. I said the offense he ran lacked any movement and allowed defenses to load up on Lebron. Having said all that… I dont know if Mike Brown can construct a successful offense. As we remember the Lakers offensive numbers were very poor against Dallas. We can be confident though our defense will be I proved and there won’t be players needlessly syncing into the paint.
One thing is for sure…. After hearing about the charms of Brown I wasn’t surprised when I woke up to hear he most likely will be our next head coach. I have mo doubt Brown will be a great leader and a great defensive coach. I pray we still run the triangle because I have my reservations in his offensive integrity.
RE: Brown’s ability to handle the spotlight. He does have experience with it doesn’t he? I mean the LeBron circus every year was just a non stop media barrage. If anything I think he’s more fit to deal with this than Shaw or even Adelman, who’s never really coached a team with a superstar this big or this amount of expectations.
J.D. Hastings says
I commented on Brown a week or two ago I think. He’s gotten a bum rap for his time in Cleveland. For 2 seasons he did not get the team with the best record in the league to the finals. The teams that eliminated his each did go to the finals and were beaten by the Lakers. The 2 years before that his teams were defeated by the champions.
While there were issues in the last 2 performances in particular, they are issues at the height of the execution ladder, not basic competence- and there are no other candidates without similar issues. Adelman has an even longer history of the same types of playoff issues, while Shaw, who I support as a Lakers candidate, has no history.
So the knee jerk reaction against Brown seems exaggerated compared to the issues he’s had to me.
Do I think he’s the best candidate? Not necessarily, but my concerns aren’t for his raw ability to coach as much as the issues Darius bring up. Also, reports about Kobe’s reaction to the potential hiring are very concerning. The team needed to keep Kobe in the loop even if they made their own decision. If he’s alienated, or doesn’t “buy in,” then Brown’s failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If Brown is hired though, the best thing the players and fans (to a far far lesser degree) can do is give him the support he needs to succeed. If he ultimately doesn’t earn that support, well, that’s something I’ll worry about at this time next year.
Brown is at least a good coach, probably very good. Hasn’t had the opportunity to show if he is a great coach or not; I think he did as well as anyone could have while he was at Cleveland. If he can get the team to buy into his systems, on O and C, whatever those systems are, they have the talent to be a contender. Of course, the same is likely true about van Gundy, Shaw, and Adelman – i don’t think Brown is significantly better than any of them, but he’s definitely not a horrible choice.
J.D. Hastings says
BTW: If the Lakers do hire Brown, I hope Pau Gasol has the common sense to grow Anderson Verejao’s hair.
I would HATE the hiring M. Brown. You know it’s a bad move when even the glass-is-half-full people on FB&G struggle to come up with a legitimate defense of such a hire.
Any chance we can coax Phil out of retirement by the All-Star break..?!?
I am good with this hire. Brown got the Cavs to a better record than the Heat had this year with far less talent. I’d say he is ok.
If you are looking for a coach with rings – who’s out there? Rivers and Pop – neither one of those guys was walking through the door.
It is a fresh start which was needed. There is also a good chance that whoever the next coach is will flame out. It sucks following Mr. Zen and inheriting a Kobe who is visibly breaking down as the focal point of your team.
If Brown can turn this existing roster into a defensive powerhouse (e.g. Celtics of 08), Lakers may have a shot at the title. Otherwise the lack of athleticism on this roster is going to keep them from having any real chance.
Matt R. says
From the interview with Krolik:
“3. It seems relatively likely the Lakers will enter next season with a roster that looks relatively similar to the one finishing this year. How well does Brown’s style mesh with what the Lakers have?
Krolik: Not at all.”
And that, my friends, is my concern.
if brown is hired, the most important factor will be the staff he assembles. he’s already shown to be a defense guy and fairly successful in that mode. he needs to gather a staff that will include a specialist in offense just as doc rivers did w/thibodeau (except it was on the defensive end). well, who then?…..that is exactly the question i’m asking……
J.D. Hastings says
The Krolic interview was really good. He defended Brown against the common criticism (offense) but offered some criticisms we haven’t heard before too (his past systems don’t mesh well with Laker personnel).
Ultimately, this is a veteran Laker squad and what happens will be on their shoulders.
kwame a. says
Laker fans need to calm down. This is as good a hire as they could make outside of Coach K. Adelman, Shaw, JVG, Brown, Dunleavy, they all would have baggage or questioon marks coming in. Brown is well-qualified to coach this team, I just think he needs to bring in some strong offense assistants.
The most important thing for the Lakers is not who the new coach is. Its what the roster is, and as constituted, they need some tweaks to be in position to win it next year.
Matt R. says
To elaborate further, I know that Krolik goes on to talk about the fact that the Lakers have no personnel that really match what Brown did offensively in Cleveland (drive & kick to open 3-point-shooters), but I think the other part of the equation that isn’t being discussed a whole lot is that while he got that Cleveland team to give 110% every night, that was a young team.
The hard part with a young team is calming them down. The hard part with a veteran-laden team is getting them up. Not to mention the fact that we don’t want Kobe, Pau, Fish, and LO going 110% all the time.
When you have LBJ in his early-to-mid-20s you can ask him to go all the way to eleven all the time. You can’t do that with 33 year old Kobe.
I’ve seen some people on the net asking if the Lakers might keep Shaw to coach the offense for Brown, but if you were Shaw, would you stick around when it was blatantly obvious that you were not wanted here and work for the man hired ahead of you when you turned down jobs last year?
It’s fresh, so I’m probably still reacting in an overly emotional way, but I still just feel that Brown and a veteran Lakers team with maybe two years left for title contention is a bad, bad fit.
For me, the importance of Mike Brown’s offensive scheming and defensive tactics are secondary to his ability to manage personalities. I think maintaining chemistry is something we’ve come to take for granted from PJ’s unparalleled player management skills. With the rise of Bynum, Gasol no doubt wanting to reassert himself, Artest always hungry, and Kobe more competitive than ever, compounded by the media magnifying glass, I have very little confidence that Brown will be able to maintain the trust and respect of all the players, let alone keep everyone happy. I think that when facing adversity it will be difficult for him “steer the ship” again, and will more likely make this team panic or unravel.
I furthermore think our poor playoff defense was not due to bad schemes, but rather injuries, effort, or hubris (eg Pau, Kobe, Barnes). It was coupled with Dallas’ hot shooting, but nevertheless our 18-game run of stellar defense was indication that the schemes were not at fault.
Hence, a coach who excels at schemes but has questionable player management skills may be the worse combination possible for our present problems of chemistry, fatigue, effort, and personnel.
Totally agree with 23.
Remember how Brown consistently wore LeBron’s tire tracks across his back for three seasons… just wait till Brown has to confront Kobe (or the Buss’ golden child Bynum)…
I’m a silver lining guy, but this is going to be bad…I am NOT looking forward to seeing Brown’s constantly lost and overwhelmed expression on the Laker bench next season…
Darius, I agree that Brown’s failings as an offensive coach has been overstated.
But I think the concern about managing Bron is valid. Yes the system was built around him but it was also to cater to him. Spo has actually impressed me with how he’s managed to get Bron to play more off the ball as the year has progressed. Now how much of this is because Bron has more respect for Wade and Bosh compared to Cle’s talent, who knows?
By the same token, one of Phil’s biggest challenge was to have Kobe play within the system. Although Kobe breaking off the system is somewhat overstated too as I do think there were times he needed to do so in order to jump start the team and Phil agreed.
Still it’s going to be one of Brown’s major challenges to work with Kobe in making sure everyone sticks to whatever system is implemented. For now, Brown has shown no offensive system beyond what as in Clev, effectiveness set aside. That’s the other reason I would have preferred Adelman, he has enough success with his system with various types of players. Adelman’s teams have also played good D. Seems like he was the best balance on both sides of the ball. But I can see how age was an issue and Brown is a better long term choice.
It also doesn’t speak well to ownership that they don’t at least keep Kobe in the loop. No need to have him be a major decision maker but courtesy requires he be informed.
…and nothing short of 65 wins and a championship will convince me otherwise.
Matt R brings up good points. I don’t see how the core players mesh with Brown’s system. There’s no question that Kobe is slowing down. The real question is who on the Laker team is going to fill that gap – on and off the court. I can see how Brown will influence that role with an emphasis on defense. And I can see how a healthy Bynum will have a greater role – if he’s healthy. I don’t see Odom or Pau (especially Pau) becoming more assertive – but Odom’s contract leads him to be on the trading block faster than Pau. Given the lakers’ salary constraints and the CBA, maybe there aren’t wholesale changes this year, but I would not be surprised if they do more than tweaking (as Dr. Buss recently suggested).
Haha… It just came out that Brown was a darhorse candidate but he “wowed Jim Buss in the interview”. So what my friend told me was pretty right on. This Mike Brown is one smart and charming sob. Now if only he could coach;)
Snowmass Dave says
I agree with those saying it is a good hire. The cast in Cleveland outside of the best player in the league now was very mediocre. Coach Brown worked with what he had. Lebron isolation was the dominant play. But the guy does coach DEFENSE. Something the Lakers clearly lack, for the most part. And defense is key, witness last night’s stand by the Heat in the 4th quarter and overtime. Gee, Bosh is a lot better than I gave him credit. As far as Adelman, he is a good coach but to me, just not a good fit for us. Too much overall baggage. Given what he had in C-Town, this guy excelled.
Krolik can say Brown’s style doesn’t mesh with the Lakers’ style… If Brown’s style is “build an offense around the personnel you have (LeBron James and flotsam and jetsam)”, then you’d get exactly what you saw in Cleveland, which was pretty good given the personnel, and you say, “Brown did a good job”, and if he does the same in LA, then you’ll end up liking Brown’s style.
But if Brown’s style is “give the ball to the best wing player and let him do his thang” then that’s a bad style.
The problem Brown has is that both styles look the same on those Cleveland teams, so everyone assumes the worst… I know I do.
Does anyone seriously believe giving the ball to Kobe and letting him do his thang is a good idea anymore? Anyone other than Kobe? I would be shocked if the matter wasn’t brought up in the interviews. “How do you manage Kobe through decline?” If that doesn’t get addressed up front, that is dereliction. If Brown doesn’t have some notion of how to do that, he’s in over his head.
My initial thought is that the Buss family wanted no residual part of the Phil Jackson era. Not only are the Busses (except for jeannie) are happy to see PJ go, they don’t want to see any part of PJ’s beloved system, which includes one Brian Shaw.
An “easier” system offensively, which leaves space to adapt to a new defensive system, would be “better” for Artest, Bynum and Blake. You watch, at least one of these players will complement the new offense, because they feel more comfortable in it Somebody’s going to feel that they can use their instincts again.
And it would be easier to get rookies and young players in the lineup; Banks, Character and Johnson would also feel “less” overwhelmed by the system. This means the Lakers have a use for their draft picks, something that makes Jim Buss very happy.
You get a defensive coach in here, he promises that if they play defense, they can run, light bulbs go off. It was obvious on TV, that a certain former superstar was not “in love” with the style the Lakers played, but you can’t say anything as long as they were winning.
Mike Smrek says
Agree with #23, but we’d all have same concerns with each and every coaching name that has been tossed around. Keeping everyone engaged and happy is the ultimate X factor. Not sure why you think Mike Brown would be worse at it than Adelman, Shaw, etc.
J.D. Hastings says
It’s being reported as officially done. This means the Lakers HAVE to cut Shannon loose now, or else I’ll be eternally confused which Brown commenters are complaining about.
it’s a done deal
Brian H says
His defensive pedigree is unquestionable. His offense deserves a lot more credit than he’s gotten so far. No question that Mike Brown is a hardworking/capable coach. The biggest question is how well Mike Brown will be able to adjust and suit his schemes to maximize the Lakers roster. Or, if this foreshadows moves that will establish a roster more suited to Mike Brown’s schemes.
In either case, his defensive mind should be great for this team, and with a slew of weapons he never had in Cleveland, he really has no excuse to have any worse an offense in LA than the ones he had in Cleveland.
People will point to his coaching Shannon his rookie season in CLE, being an asst. coach in IND when Ron went hyphy at the Palace, but I do have my worries about how he’ll manage and relate to the strong personalities in a city with nothing-less-than-a-title aspirations.
I think the underlying current, one that makes me pretty nervous, is Jim Buss. More than the hiring of Mike Brown (though his past hiring of Rudy T isn’t exactly the best precedent), things like cutting loose numerous loyal/valuable Lakers employees, snubbing Shaw (which, no doubt, has to do with his disagreements and rifts with Phil), are sorts of things to keep an eye out for. I have no problems that he wants to establish his own legacy and do things his way, but, based on history, I do worry about his being prone to tunnel vision. Yes, he drafted ‘Drew and was steadfast about not trading him, but his other moves speak more to establishing his power than building the franchise. That said, there are many years to come before we truly know what Jim Buss is made of, so until then, I guess I’ll just buckle down for the ride.
Darius Soriano says
I’ve updated the top of this post to reflect the fact that the deal is done.
I feel worse now than I did after Game 4 in Dallas.
I think the underlying current, one that makes me pretty nervous, is Jim Buss.
Indeed. I think Jim Buss is pulling a Nuke LaLoosh from “Bull Durham” here:
“I’m going to announce my presence with authority.”
Our team needed a new voice. When I heard how enthusiastic Fisher and Kobe were about Shaw, that raised red flags for me. It’s like Shaw was the babysitter who let the kids stay up late past their bedtime, much to the delight of the “babysittees.”
Obviously, we will not know how good/bad a coach Shaw would have been, but I think a continuation of the Phil Jax methodology was not going to happen.
As to Brown, I think his new voice should/will resound more than Kobe’s pronouncement that “Bynum fall in line.” I hope he gives Bynum the chance to truly be the #2 option. Even with Fisher, he will now let others rightfully ascend to the starting PG spot. The old favorites of Phil will no longer assume they are starters and/or major role players (I’m looking at you Fisher, Luke).
Also, if anyone can light the defensive fire (if it exists) in Gasol, it will be Brown. His bigs played excellent defense in Cleveland. On offense, the Lakers will make sure to get a good offensive Xs and Os coach since Brown will probably handle the defensive end.
I am cautiously optimistic about the move. But I will cheer for him wholeheartedly since he is now going to be wearing the Lakers gold.
T. Rogers says
I’m still taking all this in. The funny thing is even with the same roster (at least for now) there is a changing of the guard in Lakerland. Phil is gone. And it seems Jim Buss is now the main man behind the scenes. Seeing the Phil era finally come to an end is bad enough. However, seeing power officially pass from Dr. Buss to Jim Buss is very unsettling.
Also, I hope Brian Shaw gets the Golden State job now. Admittedly it would be weird to see him and West up in the Bay. I still feel the Lakers missed the boat on Shaw. I sure hope I am wrong.
dave m says
Count me as one of the naysayers. I don’t like the move at all. The Lakers are not an easy team to coach, we all know this. It’s not just Kobe and it’s not just any other single player. It’s the whole package. It’s the highest payroll in the league, the greatest expectations, the intense glare of the spotlight and yes, the players as well. We are coming out of a very difficult post-season and headed into a contentious labor situation. It’ll be a new system and new assistants and they’ll be coaching guys that have been here a while and who are entrenched in their disparate personalities. I wouldn’t be be at all surprised to see the season start off with promise and cohesion (if there’s a season at all) – the players will want to give it an honest shot after all. My real concern is what happenes in the thick of it – once the honeymoon is over, once the fissures apear and once the media and the public decides that it’s time to feed. I hope I’m wrong. I hope it works out and I hope that I can comment, around this time next year, that I was completely off-base.
Welcome to Laker Nation Mike Brown! Hope that you can right this ship! Here’s looking forward to you standing on the podium with Kobe getting a ring!
Just think guys, if any coach knows how to defend LeBron its Brown! He knows all of LeBron’s weaknesses!
Somebody please tell me Jim Buss thought today was April 1…
I’m not that spoiled expecting two championships every season. I’d be happy with two in the next four, LOL!
I’m concerned about Jim Buss coming to the forefront as face of the Lakers ownership too, but the old man isn’t go to be around forever.
And, I’m very much in favor of dumping the Triangle, because those that understand/run it best are all retired. It’s time to move on instead of clinging to this system.
Of greater concern than Mike Brown as Lakers coach is Kobe’s prospective adjustment to his physical decline. If Bryant remains in (evident) denial about this, the team will fail, regardless of who is coching.
I don’t understand the panic re: Brown. He’s a proven commodity who I believe is capable of improving as a coach. He has a solid fundamental base re: coaching, and is an elite defensive coach.
I defy anyone to put any other comparable coach to have an elite offense with Lebron and the following:
Eric Snow, Delonte West, Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, Big Z, Varejoa. He managed to squeeze 60+ wins with these guys. And of course, Lebron is a major reason for success, but if you want to berate Brown for his failures, acknowledge his contributions to the team’s success.
No need to BMW about him. He’s the future. He’s our coach. He will get Pau to play defense (if he’s still here). It’s time for us to move on, just like the Lakers just did.
there are reports on foreign sites that are saying the best coach in Europe (Messina) is joining Brown as an assistant. Can our international readers please confirm.
If this is true, Kobe has to be 100% on board. Not looking so gloomy after all.
Lakers moving toward a smarter brand of Basketball.
After Phil Jackson was any coaching hire really going to excite anyone ? Looking at the teams remaining, they all get after it on the defensive end. For all the Star Power of the Heat/Bulls, the score was 85-85 last night at the end of regulation. Getting the Lakers back to playing suffocating defense is the key to getting this team back to the Ship, plus how great would it be to see Kobe win with Lebrons old coach
In Brown we have a young head coach (41) who has a done of experiance with high profile players who were expected to win a championship. He will get the defense going. And as much as I like Shaw (GO Gauchos) He would have been Kobes bitch and that is reason enough to not hire him. If Brown BB mind is as sharp as everyone say’s. Then Kobe and the rest will fall in line. Plus he is not Mike Dunleavy.
Surprised, disappointed, pissed.
In my bias, I wanted Shaw to get this job. I do not want to see him leave the Lakers.
Objectively, Brown is still a bad fit. I would have rather JVG or Adelman take the coach position.
Does anyone on the Lakers bench respect Brown? This is a veteran team, they needed an old, respected coach to lead them.
Brown rode the coattails of LeBron and still fell short. Would Kobe want someone who coached LeBron to coach him? What will happen once people start asking Brown to compare Kobe and LeBron?
I just can’t see Kobe and Fish “fall in line” with the new coach. That, in itself, is the biggest issue. I personally believe Kobe should have been asked to be involved in the hiring process, even if it was to hire someone other than Shaw.
49. JM, if Kobe and Fisher, at this juncture of their respective and respectable careers cannot ‘fall in line’ with a head coach, then that is sad. A younger and petulant Kobe clashed with Rudy. Kobe knows he has to work with Brown since Kobe’s window is 2-4 years max, precisely the length of Brown’s contract.
A new voice, and I hope Brown helps this team shed its sense of entitlement and “fall in line” attitude. It’s a new season folks, and I for one, am happy because this is what the team needed.
JM- those are great points. But Kobes GM skills are not the greatest. The Lakers obviusly did not want any coach they have to be Kobes puppett. And if Jerry Buss could he would pull the same thing on Kobe as he did on Shaq. No questions about that.
According to Hoopsworld.com Mike Brown may bring in Italian coach Ettore Messina as an assistant.
I wonder how Jim Buss will answer the Brian Shaw question?
we have to get used to Mike Brown up off the bench, because we rarely saw this the last 12+ years from the ex-coach. I’m sure I’ll be yelling at the TV,”Sit down and let them play!”.
How is the Derek Fisher situation going to play out? A new coach is in town, so DFish is in a situation where he may not start next year.
I’ll bet Magic’s happy; doesn’t have to deal with the monolith now.
I’m not happy about Mike Brown becoming the new head coach… but I wasn’t happy about adding Ron Artest to the roster other, and he has worked out pretty well. In fact, i like him now. 🙂
And as with Artest, even though I am not happy about it, that’s not going to change that fact Mike Brown is now our new head coach. That means that I’m going to watch, observe, wait, and see, and hope he does well. And above all else, though I may complain a lot about him on FB&G, I will defend him against any and all outsiders who dare to complain about him. Because he’s a part of the team now, and that’s what fans do.
TB 8788 says
I don’t like this move at all. If Jimmy Buss wanted defense, I would have preferred JVG.
Many appear to be enamored with the 61 and 66 REGULAR SEASON wins, but I recall seeing an overwhelmed coach in his last three PLAYOFF runs- 07 sweep by the Spurs, 08 loss to Orlando, and the semifinal loss to Boston last year.
The fact that Jimmy Buss is apparently calling the shots is unsettling.
Given a choice between Brown and JVG, I’m glad the call went to Brown. He’s a much better fit than JVG.
Lakers forgot Cleveland team lost 2 years in a row with home-field avantage. If he is good defensive coach, how come the Orlando Magic beat Cleveland by shooting 3 pts a lot? Again his Cleveland team can’t defend Rondo and Boston Celtics last season. LeBron James knew something, that’s why he went to Miami. I am dissapointed, we don’t have to hurry to hire a coach. They said he had good interview, but a good coach is not always a smooth talker.
What bothers me about this move is that the Lakers lack of defensive efficiency was more predicated on a lack of athleticism due to injury and age (Pau aside). Mike Brown isnt going to make the Lakers younger or more athletic. He isnt going to transform Fisher Blake or Brown into an elite defender in the tony allen mode, which is what we are sore lacking. It isnt going to give Pau or Drew lateral quickness or explosiveness. Ron is strong but deteriorating rapidly as an elite defender. lamar, well he really doesnt play defense he runs the offense and reboinds. My point is we need to get younger and more athletic if we really expect to see improvement on the defensive end
Edwin Gueco says
You said honeymoon with Mike B. maybe with Jimbo not w/ fans. Every time he will stand up and point his fingers, I imagine LeCrab running the Lakers. Poor imagery in sending a wrong message to fans. When Warriors expressed their interest on Mike B., was that one of the considerations why the trio accelerated their choice of Mike B? or put it in another perspective, perhaps the logo knew beforehand that Lakers would pick Mike B. so he declined any association with this team by accepting immediately thye consultancy up North. We laughed at the Celtics signing Doc for five more years, appears to be a desperate move, well Lakers going for Mike Brown was more hilarious, will be a sitcom for the next four years.
Jim Buss is running this team and hired someone who will keep the party line. It’s pretty clear this is a power grab from a certain faction of the Buss family. I seriously doubt Bynum will be moved at this stage…
Dear God I hope I’m wrong, but if I’m right Lakers fans are in for a bad, bad stretch.
I know Brown is a Pop disciple and that gives me some hope, but I just don’t think this is a good fit.
kobe clashed with rudy? Rudy was an awful coach on a team that was not that good. If I was kobe, i would have been unhappy too.
Rudy should not have been coaching in the NBA – he was physically not up to it, not as a head coach at least.
Edwin Gueco says
Rudy T was a great coach in ’05, however the players handed to him by Mitch were atrocious except for Lamar and Caron, the rest were all scrubs so enamored with 3 pt shooting-the-bricks. What will be the next Lakers move? JB said just tweaking the line up, yeah trade the killer b’s and go for the rooks ebanks, caracter and 4 2nd round draft picks. You see it is all cost savings, I don’t think JB will exercise another MLE nor trade anybody. It is now Bynum show under a new Coach of Jimbo’s choice.
Not Charlie Rosen says
One thing I’m not seeing mentioned too much here is Brown’s Asst. Coaching time at the only other consistent franchise over the last decade–the Spurs. He won a ring with them on the bench, assisting Pop, and is a Pop disciple. It’s most evident in how good defensively the Cavs were when he was there.
As for offense, I don’t think he can be said to have a “system”, any more than Rudy T. had a system when coaching Kobe and Smush, or that anyone had a system when coaching Iverson and a bunch of scrubs, or LeBron and the Bronettes in Cleveland, or what have you. You try and keep the ball out of Smush’s (or Snow’s or Hughes’s) hands and pray the off-balance balletic shots from your difficult star go in more often than they don’t.
But Pop wouldn’t have hired him if he were a dullard, and from all reports he’s a serious film and stats geek, with a huge bank of X’s and O’s in his head that he’s never had the personnel to execute. And now he does.
Like most here, my first reaction was “Mike Brown? WTF?” But he has as many head coaching rings as any of the other candidates, and I’m slightly warming up to this…it’s a calculated risk, assuming that his seeming shortcomings on offense were more a result of being in a “oh god am I seriously considering calling a play for Eric Snow over LeBron?” team makeup rather than because he couldn’t think of anything better, and now he’s getting a chance to truly show what he can do. This could be the true start of a great coaching career…or it could flame out. Better to take that risk than play it safe with the expected “great but never the best” pedigrees of Adelman, JVG or Dunleavy, which you know won’t change, or the “Kobe’s quiet big brother” status of B.Shaw.
And as for managing personalities and respect…aside from PJ, Pop, Riley, Coach K and zombie Red, there’s not a coach alive with a resume that can get Kobe’s respect unless he decides to give it to them…I’m hoping the two will find themselves kindred spirits, diving into the minutae of the game’s film and stats, and that and the focus on defense will be a bond to push them onwards.
Here’s hoping, at least.
Craig W. says
Fans will never be satisfied unless the team wins this years Championship Trophy, even if they lost in the 2nd round.
Well it is time to move on. Changes are always uncertain. Successful changes are often the most uncertain.
I really like the comment out there that, “Mike Brown may bring in Italian coach Ettore Messina as an assistant”. This guy has been a head coach overseas for years and no doubt Kobe and Pau have followed him. A tough coach who likes to call his plays and has a reputation for developing big men.
Funky Chicken says
I dont understand the excessive criticism of this move. If the Lakers wanted the best offensive coach they would have chosen Adelman. Instead, they picked the unquestioned best defensive coach in the game. That’s a reasonable move.
Watching two offensively challenged teams duke it out in the eastern conference finals, it should be clear that great defense is a recipe for success. It keeps you in games even when the offense isn’t working, and that adds up to wins.
Brown’s playoff losses do nothing to undermine his regular season success. In the playoffs, his teams lost to much more talented teams. There’s no shame in that. With his regular season success he has demonstrated the ability to get his teams to overachiever. This is a good move.
Funky Chicken says
The unquestioned best AVAILABLE defensive coach, that is.
Everybody is making the assumption that the current players on the roster will be on the team. I figured the next LA coach would be a dead man walking if the present roster was kept intact. Its obvious the FO wants to get away from the triangle, inturn that means some players will be going away as well that fit such an intricate system.
Expecting a new coach(even B. Shaw) to come in and work some type of magic that PJ couldnt do in his final tour is a very heavy load to carry. Got to give M. Brown credit for having the cajones to take the job knowing he’s coming to a storied franchise, following a legend, and inheriting a past his prime superstar that is head strong. Im not so sure Jeff V. or Adelman would have been so eager, as everybody seems to think that they would have been, to take on such a daunting task without being heavily compensted for their services. M. Brown has won in the league in the past and Im not going to write him off until I see the final product.
The fact that there has been only 3 coaches to win a championship in the last 10 years, if you count the last 20 its been 6, finding the right guy is not an exact science. Im a LA fan for life, so regardless who they hire I will continue to get on the ride.
Sort of off-topic, but I just clicked on this Truepoop artcle — http://espn.go.com/blog/TrueHoop/post/_/id/29542/the-myths-of-mike-brown — without noticing the author. It became blazingly obvious within the first 2 sentences that it was Henry Abbott. I wonder if anyone at ESPN feels ashamed that they employ a poor-quality internet troll to churn out front-page content for them every day.
Mike Brown might not be the best coach of all time… But he isn’t a bad coach. And championships are won based on talent on the floor… I think we should spend more time worrying about adding another star player, a quality PG, injecting Kobe with HGH, and locating Pau Gadol’s severed testicles than wondering if Mike Brown will ruin the Lakers title hopes.
I’d give this one an incomplete and really that’s all we can give. Nobody’s really going to meet expectations because everyone’s going to be a setback from Phil. Let’s face it nobody was going to even begin to come close to replacing him. While I was a fan of Adelman, I think Jim Buss has outlined somebody he can grow with for the future. In terms of Brown his system does not fit with our team as currently constructed, but a few minor tweaks which we had to make anyways and I can see how it would work. More shooters, more drive and kick. Brown’s no dummy, he didn’t have an effective low post game in cleveland so he went with what worked. He’s been with and worked with bigs before (See Spurs, San Antonio). The only thing that’s a bit scary is the fact that our offense was worse than our defense, but what’s getting overlooked apart from Gasol’s epic collapse is the number of wide open shots the team had that they simply missed repetitively. That’s not a coaching issue, but a personnel issue and again something I think will get addressed. While I’m not over the moon, I’m cautiously optimistic……I guess this move will be an indication of Jim Buss and what to expect. If it works out like the San Francisco 49ers, we’re screwed. If it’s like the Yankees we’re still committed to winning. But in all honesty its way too early for that. I think this can end well with an energized, hungry team with some minor new faces and a new perspective.
Brown is not Dunleavy so I’m good. I didn’t see enough Cav games to get a feel for what he’s made of so I’ll ride it out. My last name’s not Buss so I don’t have much choice anyway.
Now I’m very curious to what kind of sets the Ls will run on O & D. Keeping the triangle would relegate your starting 3 to be as awful offensively as he has been for 2 years. The change might bring some more confidence/flow back into his shot. Outside of Barnes, the Ls were far too content to remain static off ball on O.
On D, there was too much chasing the ball. They’re too slow as comprised so without a different scheme and a quick wildcard no one could shoot the gap. That’s what Ariza and Farmar on occasion brought. Barring trades, the youngsters will possibly get more burn. The youngster will cost less, too. Sorry, Theo.
Ronnie Lester will be let go, according to ESPNLA. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time for Mitch to update the resume!
I guess Jimmy Buss is doing a Mike Corleone and eliminating parts of the West and jackson regimes!
T. Rogers says
I saw that as well. I gues we fans have to sit back and wait for the dust to settle. I am sure there are other big changes coming.
With all due respect to the Buss family, this hire, combined with the non-renewal of Assistant GM Lester’s contract, along with a majority of the scouting staff, seems to suggest that Jim Buss will be taking over personnel decisions permanently fairly soon.
We’re looking at owners who have, over time, begun to think they know more than they do. We have a future of Jerry Jones style mismanagement at best, and an Al Davis insanity at worst.
I’m a Laker fan through and through, but our future for the next twenty years will not be bright if the basketball people are pushed out of the picture.
Ben R says
If we’re really hiring Messina to manage the offense, that would be fantastic. He’s a terrific offensive mind and would really complement Brown’s defensive chops.
The Dude Abides says
I was against the Mike Brown hiring until I saw Plaschke criticize it vociferously on Around the Horn today. I am now strongly in favor of this new hire.
Lester is the right-man of Kupchack, Jim Buss must be upset with triangle offense and signing bad players. The solution is to get rid of this offense and the guy who helps to build this team. I don’t blame Jim Buss.
I hate this hire. Hate it Hate it Hate it.
There were enough nationally televised Cavs games to know that Brown is very bad with in game adjustments, and historically bad with mid series adjustments.
The Cavs were better the last two years than both Orlando and Boston, and even though LeBron quit in the Boston series, a ton of that blame has to be put on the coach.
How does Mike Brown get Laker fans excited. Like, at all.
Defense was not the problem this year – the Lakers were completely unable for many points of the year to score EASY baskets, which put a ton of pressure on the defense and left us wanting in the Dallas series.
And I hate the fact that this hire has somehow become a referendum on Kobe: all of the “Will Kobe respect him?” “Will the team listen to him when things get tough?” questions will be all OVER the place any time next year when the Lakers struggle. And if they struggle big, it will be him used as the scapegoat and not the players (who played uninspired this year).
The best possible scenario I guess becomes: Lakers-Miami in the Finals, and Kobe beats Lebron with his old coach. But really, thats a superduperduper longshot unless we see an INTERESTED lakers team next year.
@77 – so was Plaschke vehemently opposed to Mike Brown to the point where he was using *two*-sentence paragraphs?! Inquiring minds want to know.
Darius Soriano says
No disrespect meant to anyone, but if GMs/owners made decisions to make fans happy they’d be very bad at their jobs. The point is to try and win games. We don’t know how this will work out yet but I think it’s fair to actually see results before we make final conclusions. It’s fair to question if it will work. I have questions about whether or not it will. But to bury this hire before it gets off the ground seems short sighted.
If Simmers joins in with Plaschke, that will make me the biggest Mike Brown supported on the planet. Until then, I can’t help but feel that this guy lacks the intestinal fortitude to stand up to Kobe and Fish (don’t forget Fish has massive seniority on this team and Kobe’s ear), and be able to handle issues expected for next year on the topic of sharing the ball.
I hope I’m wrong.
dave m says
Edwin G –
Long time, old friend! There could definitely be the opportunity for unintentional comedy here but I hope not. I’ve got some pretty strong feelings about this signing but then again, I thought it would be Lakers/Spurs in the WCF so what do I know?
@77 The Dude, someone at work told me that Colin Cowherd is also strongly against Brown. If Plash and Colin are so dead set against Brown, I feel even better about the hire now.
The major issue, as repeated again and again, is about the ascension of Jim “Jerry Jones” Buss. As a life-long Laker fan, you always had faith that Dr. Buss would do the right thing-Jimmy on the other hand….
I’m praying to be proven wrong, but Brown’s reputation as a yes man, and the developing narrative that Brown got the job by “Buss-kissing” Jimmy (as repeated in his first ESPN interview) is so unsettling.
Well… I guess we’re Mavs fans for the next 3 weeks.
Dodol Surodol says
Yeah, go Mavs for the next 3 weeks.
Andy Wang says
It is painful to say it, but I think the Lakers are going into a dark age. With Kobe in the last stretch of his career, I don’t understand why the Laker management chose NOT to go through a long and careful deliberation of coaching searches.
As a royal Laker fan, I hope I am wrong. But I think odds of the Lakers winning next year is NOT good. Let’s see how Las Vegas set the odds for the Lakers. The Vegas people favored the Heat to win this years immediately after Lebron and Bosh signed with Miami. They are NOT too far off so far.
I think Jim Buss may have over asserting his opinion this time. The Laker prestige seems lowered a notch with Brown as the coach.
This is a terrible day.
A 60-win ladened resume in a very weak Eastern Conference only equates to 50-wins out West. If we were to get a former Cav coach I’d prefer Byron Scott.
Anyways this is starting to grow on me. As much as I love B. Shaw, this move is better in terms of avoiding complacency. Hoping on the one year anniversary of his hiring we are still playing. Go Lakers!
I am taking a wait and see approach on the Mike Brown hiring as the Lakers coach. Mike Brown’s offense was near the bottom of the league in pace in his last three seasons and that could be a concern unless he brings in someone to run the offense.
Now that the Lakers have their coach they can turn their attention to tweaking with the roster as difficult as that will be with the new CBA. Maybe he will surprise everyone and get the Lakers back to the Finals. The Lakers certainly have the talent to return to the Finals. He is now the Lakers coach whether the Lakers Nation agrees with the hiring or not. Lets see what he can do.
Very impressive win by the Mavs tonight.nmthe could beat the bulls in the next round.
They don’t have the horses to defend LBJ and Wade at the same time however. OKC went small to score, which meant advantage Mavs. Miami went ultra big last night in the fourth. That’s a completely different look for them.
Although, the Mavs will have by far the best offense, and most number of shooters, than any of the teams in the east. Might make a difference as well.
After that halftime interview, I feel like I know Mike Brown’s teeth more intimately than my own. How are our players going to learn anything? I had such a hard time focusing on anything he was saying.
The one thing that worries me: sources have said that Mike Brown absolutely wowed them in interviews. If that’s the main reason they hired him, that sincerely worries me. Vinny del Negro interviews well; that’s why he beat out Larry Drew for the Clippers job. Everyone knows Mike Brown is charming and engaging.
With that said, I have a lot of hope for this hire. Several years ago, when people were deriding Lebron’s supporting cast and giving all the credit for their success to Lebron, I was driving the (sparsely loaded) Mike Brown bandwagon. Anyone who could take a team of such poor individual defenders and get them to defend like that is a genius.
I remember being very impressed with Mike Brown’s postgame conference after the Game 2 loss to Detroit in 2007. Instead of whining about the refs, he espoused a no-excuse mentality that I felt spread to the team and allowed them to be resilient enough to rebound from an 0-2 deficit.
I won’t judge him until after 1 full season. All we saw is what Brown can do with a very flawed Cavs roster. Let’s see what Brown can do with this team before we judge.
I just want to point out that there’s a difference between calling a play for Eric Snow vs. running some motion off LeBron or having someone else initiate while setting backscreens for LeBron. Brown was roundly criticized for his lack of variety in the offense in the playoffs – LBJ would go entire halfs with isolation plays while all four other players stood around. No cuts, no handoffs, no post-ups, nothing, just Lebron at the top of the key. I’m not saying he should’ve ran a play for Hughes, I’m saying he could’ve called some sets to get LBJ in other scoring positions. Also, remember how slow the Cavs played? Lebron would walk the ball up the court every time, that was not playing to his strengths. Brown might have had a top-5 offense in the regular season, but why don’t you ask Rose or Durant what being great in the regular season has done for them.
To say that Brown didn’t deserve his rap sheet for the above reasons would be to misconstrue the criticism of him at the time.
Yea, I might even go out on a limb and argue the Cavs were that good offensively because LeBron is that good, not Mike Brown.
Anyway, I’m happy to see what our rookies can do and what our stars can do outside the triangle. I wonder if the triangle made seemingly average NBA players (eg Barnes, Blake, Artest, etc) completely useless or if it was something else.
“How does Mike Brown get Laker fans excited”
Who cares about that – the question is, can he get the Lakers excited. If he can, then they are one of the elite teams.
Brian H and Zach bring up some good points. To me, the more worrying part of this hiring is what we’ll find out about Jim Buss.
Dr. Jerry Buss has been one of the best owners in sports over the last few decades, and a big part of that was that he stepped back and let West/Kupchak make most of the personnel decisions. I won’t judge Jim Buss until we know more about him, but I worry if he’s too concerned with establishing himself. I’m sure he wants to win, but it’s possible he wants to win only HIS way (sounds like Kobe, ironically).
Don’t get me wrong – this hire could reveal good things about Jim Buss. It could show he cares more about defense/rebounding than recapturing a pretty Showtime-style offense.
But I don’t like letting the staff and especially Ronnie Lester go. It reeks of Buss letting animosity towards Jackson cloud his judgment. I really hope we’re not in for years of tunnel vision, closed-mindedness, and ego-laden moves from Jim Buss. The success of this franchise came from Dr. Buss doing just enough, but never too much.
Edwin Gueco says
Indeed, it is scary on ascension of a new owner, Jerry West gone. Kareem gone. PJ retired and lately, Ronnie Lester. Told ya, this is all profit taking moves from a spend-spree team to a tight wad in the next three years until all marquee players except Bynum will be gone too when their contract expires. This is now Jim Buss era. Mike Brown will be another Yes-man, like Mitch more concerned of their freakin’ jobs than doing the right thing for the team. Well, as Craig W said, we have to move one. If we survived during Kwame-Smush-Cook dark years, there may be a silver lining on this move. That’s what we are, Laker fans and also SoCal fans. The ownership, Time Warner and AEG have to produce a show in order to convince Los Angelinos to watch the Lake Show. Lot of investments at stake here TW @ 3B for 20 years; AEG, the billion dollar investments at Live LA plus multiplier effects on other businesses dependent on the Lakers. Jim Buss thinks he’s now the boss, not in the bigger picture. In the end, the fans are really the main decision makers that could make or break a franchise.
Touche I guess. But theres a reason the Lakers are the Lakers – and a lot of it has to do with who is in the audience.
With the Cavs, Brown ran one of the SLOWEST offenses in the league, which in the end made it very difficult for the Cavs to create easy baskets if it wasn’t from a break away steal.
The Lakers biggest problem this year is that every shot they put up seemed difficult – there were less tip ins, less open corner 3’s, less rythym floaters. There was much more 1. Iso’s, and 2: Post pounding, which led to teams packing the paint and daring every player on the floor to shoot contested.
Lebron almost always drew a double team on the Cavs, so in the regular season they were sufficiently able to score and defend, but in the playoffs (when the defenses get better) those same Cavs players found it very difficult to get open even with the double.
I hope Brown succeeds, only because I truly want the Lakers to be a better and more enjoyable club to watch next year. But hiring a coach that the fans at least somewhat support does to a degree matter – if the players know that the fans already don’t trust him, the second anything goes wrong in the season, the blame can easily be shifted to him and there can be a coaches tune out.
As some of the other posters have suggested, I am far more concerned with Jim Buss’ ascension to primary Lakers’ decision maker than with the selection of Mike Brown as coach. With the way Jim Buss has conducted Lakers business since the end of the season, I agree with Adrian Wojnarowski’s sentiment that: “He’s the insecure and largely incapable son of an iconic owner, the older brother of Jeannie Buss, the far more competent sibling to run the franchise.”
The manner in which the coaching search was conducted suggests an arrogant “I know better than anyone” approach, including his more knowledgeable basketball people, one of whom was let go today (Lester) and the other who appears to have played little role in the process despite being the GM (Kupchak). Jim Buss has previously expressed disdain for the value of professional scouting, belying his own father’s leadership style of hiring smart (basketball) people and letting them do their job. I fear we’re seeing a Jerry Jones situation unfold before our eyes, and when was the last time the Cowboys won a playoff game with JJ as de facto GM?
I also worry about the team’s financial priorities. Despite the fact that I just received an invoice for season tickets showing nearly a 7% price increase, we have been reading reports for weeks that the Lakers have been laying off or failing to renew contracts of long-time employees, including scouts, trainers and administrative staff. Yes, the impending lockout brings unique financial pressures, but does dismissing loyal, gifted employees just months after executing a new, multi-billion dollar television contract inspire confidence in the team’s leadership and direction? Will resources be expended to construct an impressive coaching staff or will Mike Brown be forced to assemble a staff on the cheap that will undermine his ability to succeed? Will personnel decisions be made to improve an aging and comparatively unathletic roster or will we see more trades to dump salary (e.g., Sasha and a first round pick for junk) and the continued failure to make moves (e.g., Peja at the trading deadline) that would otherwise increase payroll?
I’m not saying the Lakers franchise is doomed – time will tell, and I certainly hope I’m wrong about Jim Buss. But we’ve certainly seen enough from him to at least be concerned and not just blindly have faith in his stewardship.
Kobe causes the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions too,trade him soonest and let’s ride LBJ to glory!
“PJ’s unparalleled player management skills.”
Was I living in another world during the whole Shaq-Kobe era? And when did the whining over touches stop during this latest go-round?
“but Odom’s contract leads him to be on the trading block faster than Pau.”
You don’t trade your most versatile player with the most favorable contract. You trade your least versatile player with the worst contract, if you can.
Lastly, according the one LAT piece:
Derek Fisher, the Lakers’ veteran point guard, in a Twitter message said: “Will miss Phil but excited to start a new chapter under Mike Brown. Looking forward to a different style and energy!!”
And is there a new Lebron James?
“I think it’s great; Mike Brown is a great coach. He brought us success that we hadn’t had before in that city, and it started with his defensive concepts. He brought in a defensive mindset that we didn’t have. Fifty-plus wins, he was coach of the year, he got us to the (NBA) finals, won us the Eastern Conference finals … because of him and his coaching staff. I respect him. He definitely helped me become who I am today.”
Lastly, for the one soul above who posited that Kobe + Brown over Lebron in next year’s finals would be the appropriate meme for Kobe, the other meme is, from a soul commenting on an LAT piece, no more triangle and no PJ, and so Kobe winning the championship means that he can win without Phil and the triangle, and so he stands alone at the top of the heap.
Sorry, one more, from Cleveland:
Sorry, yet more from Cleveland:
To know whether or not Mike Brown is the answer, we need to know the question. For me, the question is all about team chemistry–and the answer goes well beyond Mr. Brown–or even Mr. Bean.
There are only three other quality veteran teams in the NBA: San Antonio, Dallas, and Boston. Right now, surprisingly, it is Dallas in the spotlight, a team that developed a cohesive core through trading and retrading veteran retreads. San Antonio tried to mix in more of an infusion of youth. Unlike the Lakers, both Spurs and Mavericks signed and effectively used three point specialists.
Which model will the Lakers emulate–or will they continue in a different direction? Will management generate the chemistry that was missing on this year’s Laker team through trades and a new coach?
I’m betting on the San Antonio model, which would explain the choice of Brown. But that would not guarantee a better outcome next year, either in team chemistry or playoff success.
Can Brown pull off a miracle?
I am taking a wait and see approach on the Mike Brown hiring.
I am waiting for Armageddon and going to see the Lakers spend the next four years being like the Lakers circa 1973-1979.
I will take this opportunity to thank Dr. Buss for the last 30 years of giving all us Laker fans many years of great basketball and many championships.
Odom is underpaid, which also makes him valuable in a trade; the Lakers could potentially combine him and a less attractive contract for someone of higher value.
The biggest Jim Buss concern comes on the Dwight Howard front. Generally speaking, Dr. Buss has always believed in the guard-center combo. That’s the reason the team was so high on Bynum in the draft – they thought he could be that center.
Well, they were right – maybe if he stays healthy he can be. But why not flip him for the undisputed best big man in the game? We all know they got the Bynum pick right and give them credit due; but why can’t they put that in the bank and make the smart move too? The answer is hubris – and that’s where the Jerry Jones comparisons start coming. It’s where given a smart pick and a mediocre pick, the latter is consistently chosen for personal reasons rather than objective basketball-centered decision making.
dave m says
88)Andy – I feel very much as you do. Darkness looming. I hope we’re wrong.
92)Snoopy – Hahaha! I watched that interview as well – did they have a fish-eyed lens on his teeth?
94)ex – the comment about the team needing to be excited pretty much sums it up. The question becomes, what has made them excited in the past? Team play, I think. When they’re overly dominated by Kobe, they tend to stand back and watch. Our post-season was a good example of the majority of the team being decidely unexcited and some of it seemed to have been a spill-over of whatever conflict was eating at Pau. Mike Brown has a very tall order on his hands and much of it will have to do with team management. It certainly can be done – look at how Kobe played under Mike K for instance, with Team USA. The question becomes whether Brown will cater and acquiesce or whether he’ll work with Kobe to foster team unity. From there, we’ll see if the rest of the guys get excited or not.
I thought the impending lock out will shorten the 2012 season with a great possibility that the season would start at around january or february of 2012? Then why in the world we hired a coach this early? Something smell fishy here that I dont like as a fan. Being a fa. I have become loyal not only to the team but also to the players specially the core group that gave us the championships. I hope no major piece would be traded and that the team would win 2 more titles in the next 4 years.
the other Stephen says
projected nickname for brown if the lakers do indeed finish on top in defensive efficiency: son of pop (popovich).
I am confused as to why all this Jim Buss bashing. He has done nothing for us to suspect he isn’t fully capable. His dad is old and is no longer capable of running anything including a stationary bike. So far the only Jim Buss move we know about is being the only person in the history of the NBA to draft a star Center out of the top five. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
I’m surprised how many of the posters here have written Kobe Bryant off as being a has been, WOW !! With a summer of rest, plus his undeniable work ethic and the fact that he was embarrassed by the Mavs I fully expect Kobe to have a MVP type season next year and The Lakers to win the title MARK MY WORD
scot – thanks for linking to the yahoo article. Kobe deserved at least a heads up. And why dump Ronnie Lester? I hope it’s not all about money as some have suggested.
If we are going Defense, the the only logical move is going and getting the best defense big man in the league.
If Kobe doesn’t like this choice, he can ask to be traded. The Lakers could fulfill all of their needs with his cap space.
dave m says
I can’t speak for others re: bashing Jim Buss but personally, I’ve got no admiration for a guy who’s clearing house in a way that feels decidedly counter-productive. I can understand getting rid of the real Jackson cronies but Ronnie Lester? Seriously? He’s been with the Lakers for 26 years (the first two as a player). Plus, he’s the guy who brought Andrew Bynun to Jimmy Buss’s attention. Thanks for your service, Ronnie. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
dave – That’s the really ironic thing. Without Ronnie Lester, Jim Buss would have never discovered his man-love in Bynum. I figured Buss would have promoted him.
Admittedly I’m not one of the older Lakers fans, but I can’t remember Jerry Buss making such blatant cost-cutting moves as letting go of so many employees. Sure, he did salary dumps once in a while (Sasha) but that was after he broke the bank many-fold, and still wouldn’t tinker with an entrenched rotation player. We’ll see over the upcoming years if Jim Buss is as free spending or not.