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Caught in the Web: Follow-up reports on Mike Brown becoming the Lakers' coach

Photo: Jim Buss, son of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, played a leading role in the Lakers' decision to go with Mike Brown as its new coach. He's pictured in August 2005. Credit: Los Angeles Times--The Times' Broderick Turner mentions how very few people connected to the Lakers wanted to comment about hiring of Mike Brown as head coach.

-- In addition to criticizing Jim Buss for hiring Brown, The Times' Mark Heisler reports the following nuggets: Kobe Bryant didn't like the Brown hire, Jim Buss initially wanted Byron Scott, Doc Rivers and Nate McMillan but none was available, Jim Buss talked to only one candidate and the Lakers made the deal earlier than expected so the Warriors couldn't hire Brown. Heisler also credits the Heat's toughness in its Eastern Conference series win over Chicago.

--'s J.A. Adande explains how the Lakers are "divorcing themselves from their history."

-- Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick outlines Jerry West's role as a Warriors advisor. 

Amick also discusses the Brown hire in the video below

-- The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore argues it's too early consider the Brown hire a mistake. 

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky lists five questions Brown will have to address as the Lakers' head coach. 

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi believes Brown is actually what the Lakers need. 

-- The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller believes it's way too early to judge how Brown will fit with the Lakers. 

-- Hoopsworld's Alex Raskin details the Lakers' various ways of tightening their finances. 

-- The Daily News' Elliott Teaford highlights Mitch Kupchak's explanation of why the Lakers hired Brown. 

-- Fox Sports' Marques Johnson expresses skepticism about how Brown will fit in with the Lakers in the video below.

--'s Mike Trudell has an interesting and in-depth Q&A with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, including revealing details about Bryant's health. 

-- Fox Sports' Billy Witz argues that the Lakers have entered the Andrew Bynum era with Brown's hiring. 

-- Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore expresses skepticism about the Brown hire. 

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano is interested to see who Brown hires on his coaching staff. 

Radio Interview

I appeared on The Darren Smith Show at XX Sports Radio in San Diego where I talked about the Brown hiring and why Bryant should've been consulted. 

Tweet of the Day: "For Jim Buss, this is a bold move hiring Mike Brown and I hope it all works out." -- MagicJohnson (Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "This smells like Jim Buss' ego was making a statement that he's in charge. Ego-driven decisions are not good for any organization." -- Jon K.

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Jim Buss, son of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, played a leading role in the Lakers' decision to go with Mike Brown as its new coach. He's pictured in August 2005. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (29)

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Mike Brown grew some hair? And what happened to his skin color? Lol

PSP Intern

Stop with the coaching BS. Coaching is overrated for championship teams. So Spoelstra is a great coach now? Coaching matters for inexperienced teams. Talent wins in this league. Before Pau it was Phil stinks. Don't be dumb.
Lebron is the best player in the game - and has been for three years. That does not mean that lebron will win it every year going forward- Kobe has two more runs in him. it is heat in 6- predicted three weeks ago. Mavs have too much pressure to avenge 2006 and they are not up to it. 2-3-2 format is heavy home team advantage.

I look forward to potential Lakers - Heat next year. That will be lots of fun. Lakers need another athletic 2 or 3 to slow down Lebron. The West will be weaker next year. Dallas will have a championship loss hangover. Okc is too inconsistent. Spurs are done. No one else can compete.

Tell you what, I'm happy the Celtics are over. That's a bonus.

A must read:

--'s J.A. Adande explains how the Lakers are "divorcing themselves from their history."

Mike Brown is certainly not the safe choice. Only time will tell how he does with this team. But Phil Jackson is really the only proven NBA winner the Lakers have ever hired.

Sharman had won in the ABL and ABA, I guess, if you count that. But Jack Kent Cooke liked college coaches (Schaus, Mullaney). West, Riley, Magic, Rambis were all ex-Lakers who had never run a team. Dunleavy and Harris were experienced coaches but neither had left a trail of championships. Randy Pfund and Westhead were real raw. This is more like a Dunleavy/Harris type hire.

The piece with Vitti is interesting. His take was that this team just ran out of gas. I'm inclined to agree, metally, emotionally and physically they just looked like they had nothing left. You can blame this guy or that guy, but the whole team looked pretty flat.

Kobe being unable to be part of preseason or practice was an issue too. Not for Kobe. But 24 has a huge impact on how the Lakers play at both ends. Super Huge even. To practice WITHOUT Kobe is almost meaningless. The whole dynamic changes when he is out there.

I understand the wish for a clean start. I guess the Busses also didn't want to pay top dollar. And they probably didn't want another coach who was so big he sucked all the air out of the organization. Mike Brown looks to be a solid, defense minded coach. He has NBA experience. Finals experience. Big star management experience. The big question is, will the players respond to him. That's the real risk here.

"Laker fans hope all pens stolen 'before then.' RT @latimeslakersLakers hope to sign contract with Mike Brown 'within the next few days.'"

That one made me laugh.

After facing the truth for a few days here, I've come to conclude that it didn't matter who they hired because his odds of success would be small anyway (of course, it DOES matter, I'm just saying)... and that the bigger issue here was how this whole thing was handled.

Sure there's a lockout coming, but to fire your whole front office? And then this coaching fiasco?

The fires are blazing in El Segundo. Jimmy boy started the fires with his stupidity and negligence. Can he put them out?

We'll see

If this goes sour, Jimmy Boy may have to move out of LA for fear of his life. I hope he's ready for the spotlight he just put on himself.

It's sink or swim Jimmy! You're in the deep end now

For a dose of reality, let's go to the playback machine. How many "great" coaches have the Lakers had in their entire history? Two certainly (Phil and Riley). Maybe three (Sharman). That's it. Most have been journeyman duds. No need to list the Hall of Shame of coaching mediocrity the Lakers have been subjected to.

So, while I'm not crazy about this move, or the way it was made, I'm willing to give it a chance. Brown certainly doesn't have Phil's resume (like, who does?) or even Sharman's pedigree and smarts, but Riley certainly was a wild card who turned out great. Maybe Brown can too.

So, Coach Brown, the opportunity is yours. I and all of Laker Nation will be yours if you can prove that you can make this team into a champion again. Good luck!


I didn't realize that and I suppose neither did some others. Please don't mention it again, it's opening a door we don't want opened.

I hope MM deletes that post of yours.


You made some very good points. All this consternation about Brown, let's just give him a chance. All the other coach options had negatives also.

I look forward to seeing how they spruce up the roster, that will go further towards establishing Jimmy Buss's rep than how this hire went down.

@ Tom Daniels, Dunleavy was a rookie head coach when he took over the Lakers in '90. He was an assistant at Milwaukee prior to that.

I agree that this coaching news has been hugely overblown. The Lakers started last season with a roster that Jerry Buss thought might be the best he's ever had. They were, objectively I think, the most talented team 1 through 6 in the league. There is a decent chance that they'll actually improve that roster, both through free agency (at least with a MLE pickup) and possibly a trade. Moreover, Matt Barnes was a very good pickup, but never regained full health after injuring his knee. Hopefully he will be back.

In short, the Lakers are likely to field the most talented starting lineup in the league next year, or at least a top 2 or 3 lineup. That, plus hunger, plus a commitment to defense is something we should all be excited about.

There will be an adjustment period at some point, and any time the Lakers go into a slump next year the bloggers will be screaming about Mike Brown, but those folks can't help themselves. The rest of us should take a deep breath are remember that as recently as two months ago the Miami Heat went through a 5 game losing streak that had many people calling for Spoelstra's job. Today, they are sitting in the NBA finals. I'd expect the same from next year's Laker team.

Speaking of rookie coaches....

What is the world was coach Thibs thinking leaving Noah on the bench the last 8 minutes last night? I know Kurt Thomas hit a couple of shots, but NO WAY do you leave Thomas in and Noah on the bench. I think coach Thibs froze up in the clutch just like his team.

The piece with Vitti is interesting. His take was that this team just ran out of gas. I'm inclined to agree, metally, emotionally and physically they just looked like they had nothing left. You can blame this guy or that guy, but the whole team looked pretty flat.

Posted by: Tom Daniels | May 27, 2011 at 08:53 AM

I also find that credible; Vitti has no reason to varnish the truth. The main Laker core, with exception of Drew, all played 82 games this season. That has never happened in the last 10 years. Pau burned more minutes this season than he has for the last 5 years. The spirit was indeed willing but the flesh was weak.

And then there were those weird substitution patterns where the starters would be brought back into the game in the 4th qtr, even when the game was already 'in the refrigerator'. I never did understand those.

Adande is not credible as a writer. You remember he wrote that don't mind the slump LA was in because the team was built for the championships, this is what they do he wrote. In fact the Triangulator use to quote Adande in his quote. Kobe is the logo of professionalism, lo the swiss army knife and the beast goes on. It is funny since LA got swept that triangle ran away never to be heard from again like sean.....I know everyone was in awe of the new and improved closer King James. My goodness the man is the beast of the east and gave the bulls a Royal beating. He crowned the false pretender mvp Rose and made Coach Tib look like a Royal Jester. All I can do is thank the heavenly father that our hero Kobe didn't have to face him this year.


You wrote: “How can you say this? You do realize that Bynum played less than 4 years of high school and no college ball, right?”

Exactly, even further proves my point that not only is he just reaching his potential because of the lack of playing and development as a youngster…..he is still ONLY 23 years old.

You wrote: “secondly, you cannot use they are what they are. Why? Because according to LakerTom ... Bigs take longer to develop. If you're going to give Bynum leeway behind that argument then you have to apply it to other players as

The only thing I said was it was irrational to compare David Lee’s development to Bynum’s (Lee is not a big man and it does take longer and size does matter or GM's wouldn't over pay and draft too high all the time)when Bynum was raw and only 17 coming into a different situation as to where Lee was a McDonald’s all American, played 4 years under Donovan a top coach on a top program, then came into the league at 23 (Bynum’s age now!) on a horrible NY team ready to play.

You wrote: re: “Bynum eating before Pau & Kobe. We can agree to disagree. If Bynum had eaten before Pau & Kobe, we would not have won a blessed thing. Both Kobe & Pau are olympians and champions at some level. Bynum hasn't won jack. Furthermore, Bynum is slow & doesn't know how to play w/

@you & Nuggets Country

I agree with both of you as far as Bynum eating before Kobe & Pau in years past we would of won nothing. I’m not talking about then or now, I’m talking about next year.

NuggetsCountry wrote: “For those of you throwing Kobe under the bus: he is the reason we had been to the Finals 3 years in a row, and I can easily make a case that "Shaq's Laker" teams in the earlier 3 peat were due, in at least 2 of those rings, also, because of Kobe! The next 4 years potential rings will be only because perrenial All-Star, perrenial first team All-NBA, Hall of Fame first ballot”

I agree with him being the reason we went to finals 3 years in a row, I also still think Kobe is the best player on the team still no doubt never threw him under the bus. I also agree adamantly that “Shaq’s Lakers” won and only could of won with Kobe also. That is all history, that is my point.

My point is that it’s time that Kobe shifts into another role because he “IS NOT” that player with Shaq or the one even of the last three finals. He couldn’t do it this year all year, he has flashes of greatness and consistently great but he “IS NOT” the “man” he used to be. So I would say to both of you……. “Losing respect for some of your memory retention and blindness”

You wrote: re: "Shaq vs. Kobe and scaling back. You seem to be unclear on the concept. Allow me to educate you.
2nd box down. His playing time was down by 5 minutes from 4 & 5 years before. His attempts are just about rock steady. If he's playing 5 minutes less, why did Bynum step up and score more?"

Again you prove my point, his playing time was down but his shots are the same? It’s not about Bynum it’s about him regressing because he refuses to scale back his aggressiveness and not jacking up so many jumpers. Even more to my point, he is taking the same amount of shots with fewer drives to the basket. That equates to me more forced shots and less chance to get to the line which helps every ones game by being in the bonus sooner and with a strong tall front line we don’t have as many opportunities to get offensive rebounds and put backs by our bigs because their men left them to defend Kobe.

Your assertiveness and opinions portrayed as facts because you present snibits of stats and box scores doesn’t validate you as right but sometimes proves otherwise. It’s just like a politician attacking another one with sound bites and material taken out of context in order to prove their point or demean the others.

Lastly you wrote: "The difference b/n Shaq & Kobe is that Kobe always comes into camp ready to play & Shaq didn't. Furthermore, there's what happened when Kobe went into distro mode, which Shaq could never do. Finally, you
still haven't addressed what the rest of the NBA said about the Lakers. to quote KG: We thought we could run on the Lakers.

How many knee surgeries did Shaq have?
I am bouncing around a bit, but there are so many targets. The bottom line is that Kobe has been far more professional than either Shaq or Bynum. there's also the issue that no one can create their own shot except for Kobe.
Unless you want to argue that Ron Artest can do this? :)

We just played 4 games of throwing the ball inside and we got swept. The bottom line is that Bynum has not performed up to the standards of his promoters. I am not saying get rid of him. I am not bashing him. I am saying that he's slower than molasses in the winter time and in this era of
athletic players .... going with a slow C as the focal point of the offense is begging for failure."

I totally agree about Shaq and Kobe that’s why I was in Kobe’s camp. Kobe went into distro mode which Shaq could never do? Not sure what that means, but if means destroy mode then you are completely wrong and it further proves your admiration for Kobe has blinded you as a true Laker fan and more of a Kobe fan maybe your handle should be Kobehobbitmage as LakerTom is affectionately known as BynumTom, because that is all Shaq did for those three years in the playoffs was go into destroy mode…that is why his number will be hanging in the staples center.

Kobe is more professional than Shaq and Bynum put together or any other Laker before or since for that matter, no argument here. We played 4 games and got swept and if Kobe was what he used to be it would have never happened. I’m not saying Bynum should be the focal point of the offense at all, I just think he should be able to sit at the table at the same time as Kobe & Pau serving himself some sides first Kobe can have the first piece of steak.

Once again you wrote: “Finally, you still haven't addressed what the rest of the NBA said about the Lakers.
to quote KG: We thought we could run on the Lakers.”

You are absolutely right about that, that is the heart and soul of the Laker’s problems. That is why I think this talk about Bynum for Howard is just plain lacking basketball sense let alone common sense.

My humble opinion is that we have two very valuable PF (Gasol for his undeniable skill, Odom for his skill matching his contract) we either need to get Chris Paul or Dwill or Felton and a shooter like JR Smith (in a bubble if you know what I mean). I don’t love or appreciate one player over another, my allegiance is to the Laker’s and what it is going to take to win again and again period.

We are now in the era of king james. The way he used the royal sceptre to crown Rose was vicious. The coach of the year Thibs might as well audition as ronald mcdonald or bozo the clown for how foolish the King made him look. I'm sure he would get the job. Now the king doth do battle with the knave Sir Dirk NoWINski. Don't be surprise if America's hero LBJ end up tying the gangly and awkward looking german in knots.

Speaking of rookie coaches....

What is the world was coach Thibs thinking leaving Noah on the bench the last 8 minutes last night? I know Kurt Thomas hit a couple of shots, but NO WAY do you leave Thomas in and Noah on the bench. I think coach Thibs froze up in the clutch just like his team.

Posted by: LRob2 | May 27, 2011 at 10:15 AM
Boozer was also MIA last night. Surprise!!! Didn't the Chicago scouts watch Boozer's disappearing act in last year's playoffs before they signed him to that $80M contract?

Hey guys, we should have a post up pretty soon.

IP- Dude you're spot on again. how UGLY it would have been for Laker Nation with the KING doing the (thanks mamba24) the RIVER DANCE on the Lakers @zz.

@Tom Daniels - I agree the Vitti interview was interesting. Good to know Kobe does have "some" cartilage left on his knee and that Vitti feels he can get better physically.

I also agree with his take on the Lakers simply burning out this season. I don't understand why so many fans weren't more forgiving after 3 straight trips to the finals.

@Art - Now that was funny!

@PSP - Give yourself a ticket for your earlier post.

@LEO GOOSE ... Don’t know whether you are an old poster with a new blog name or a new poster but kudos for your flurry of excellent recent posts. I appreciate your calls for sanity and objective outlook. If defense really wins championships and Kobe really meant what he said about wanting a coach with defense in his DNA, then the move to hire Mike Brown as the Lakers head coach makes perfect sense.
While the selection of Brown caught me by surprise, I think the backlash from angry and disgruntled Lakers fans was inevitable regardless of whom the Lakers chose to succeed Phil Jackson. Had they opted to hire Brian Shaw, there would have been complaints about his lack of experience and the need for change. Staying the course with the same coaching staff and system would have been a mistake.
Taking the reins of the Lakers after Phil Jackson would be a daunting task for any coaching prospect. I think we would have seen significant negative feedback had the Lakers hired Rick Adelman, Jeff Van Gundy, or Mike Dunleavy as each of these coaches carries their own personal baggage and history. Frankly, I am just glad that the front office chose to make a change and chose to focus on defense.
I continue to be amazed and amused by the blatant hatred and disrespect being aimed at Jim Buss, whose only major decision before this was to draft and believe in Andrew Bynum, a move that some ignorant and misinformed bloggers even to this day believe was a big mistake. Of course, these same bloggers are the fantasy dreamers who have already traded Jim’s big mistake for Dwight Howard.
How about having some trust that Jerry Buss knows what he is doing, some faith that Jim Buss may have some of same moxie his dad had, some confidence that Mitch Kupchak knows what he is doing, some support for Mike Brown taking on the Herculean task of succeeding Phil Jackson, and some faith that the Lakers franchise and Kobe Bryant still have several championships in their future?

Good Mornin Laker crew,

What is the deal today!? I was just on the Twitter thread and I noticed everyone saying... you dont have to consulte to Kobe, but letting him know will put out a lot of fires, exactly what me and Tim-4-show have been saying!!


@NBA4EVER ... Superb post back to Hobbitmage and NuggetsCountry. It’s going to be difficult for die-hard Kobe fans (of which we both are) to lower expectations but there is no doubt that due to age and injuries, Kobe was not the Black Mamba to which we had become accustomed to seeing close out game after game regardless of the mountains to be climbed or the competition to be bettered.
Watching LeBron close out games for the Heat or Dirk close out games for the Mavs like Kobe used to do for the Lakers almost makes me want to cry. It makes me hope beyond hope that after a summer of rest and rehab, the Black Mamba will return next year and show all the doubters and questioners that he still is the premier player in the league. Reality says that it may be time for Kobe to dial down the scoring machine and let his game evolve in other areas where he can still have major impact.

didnt Mr JIMMY BUSS's get RUDY T. real quick too?

well we saw what happend lol

@MM... One of the real cool features of the new login system is that when you click on any blogger’s name, you go to his TypePad page, which then has a running log of all of the bloggers previous posts.

Tom, thanks for the shout out. I'm an old poster here, just under a different name with the new login requirements. You and I are generally on the same page, but we have had a few exchanges where we've been on opposite sides (I'm a longtime Bynum supporter, but have stated that if a man for man, Drew for Dwight trade were possible, I'd make it). Your posts are always well-written, and I make a note to look for them whenever I am lurking....

On Brown, it just seems like Laker fans are using this decision as a way to vent their totally understandable frustration with the way the season ended. The bottom line is that there were only a handful of possible coaches to replace Phil, and every single one of them had drawbacks (frankly, Phil Jackson himself has a lot of drawbacks as a coach, as evidenced by his inability to get this team to reach anything close to their potential this year).

Shaw has no prior experience, and was the most likely to be tuned out by Kobe (base on the fact that in the just-concluded season he WAS tuned out by Kobe and the others). Adelman (who was probably my top choice) has an excellent record of getting undermanned teams to overachieve--but how does that translate to a super talented team? Van Gundy is really just a less successful version of Mike Brown. Dunleavy is not even worth discussing. Who else was available? Against that backdrop, even if you don't agree that Brown was the best choice, I think you've got to concede that he is a reasonable choice.

Jim Buss has made one major decision so far, and that was the decision to draft a tall and pudgy teenager with a limited, at best, amount of experience playing organized basketball. The result is that the Lakers now have the unquestioned 2nd best center in the league, and a guy without whom they have not won a championship. Bloggers are kicking Jim Buss around like he's totally incompetent, but that is just an overreaction. As for Rudy T, he was at that time a reasonable choice. I'm not sure that an owner can be expected to know that his new coach is going to collapse under pressure and quit on the team less than halfway through the season. And remember, they tried to lure Coach K to the team but he wasn't interested, so again it becomes a question not just of whether Rudy T was a good choice, but who else could they have hired?

If you asked fellow bloggers whether they'd want Eric Spoelstra as coach, I'm pretty sure that as of two weeks ago you'd probably find less than 10% would have said yes. However, whatever Spoelstra's perceived deficiencies, he just coached his team to the NBA Finals where, I fear, they are going to win a title. Give Brown a chance....

[This is Jon K. by the way.]


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


So for those who can't follow every post comment I make (& who can follow anybody really with the post frequency):

I do not hate Mike Brown as a hire, since he is ostentibly a defensive coach I have been pining for for years now! I hope he kicks A$$ and takes names! I just hate how Jim Buss's arrogance is above common courtesy and manners in his hiring and communication "method" and blind allegiance to past decisions he made. He wreaks of spoiled rich boy entitlement privelege and corresponding unwarranted arrogance. Time for a little humility which is easier when you are rich, BTW.

I also don't hate AB. I just have direct experience with his type and talents. I also am old and therefore have learned to NOT ignore patterns and history. I loved the 17-1 Bynum. I am hopeful the coaching staff, including Brown can steer him that way. I have read that JimB will never consider a trade for AB no matter who it is! Yikes! Just plain idiotic, if true! I can think of maybe at least 10 players in the NBA I would gladly trade for and drive AB to his new city in a heartbeat! Unless I missed something there were 30 NBA players who were designated better than AB in the All-Star game.............just food for thought.

I am also not blind about Kobe's declining abilities/athleticism and if anybody was paying attention, took a lot of flak during the past season for my comments about my cringe factor in many situations Kobe forced at certain times. I am hopeful a new system will get Kobe more open shots and better defensive presence next season. New coach and system should do that, which is why I was not warm on status-quo Shaw for a head coach - I hope Brown is smart and picks Brian up before he gets a head coaching job somewhere.

HOWEVER..........anybody who thinks the NEXT 2 seasons will be about how far AB takes us instead of our legit HOF Kobe, is completely without sense! History tells us that Kobe will be on the floor more than AB, for one thing (injuries and willingness to play through them factor). History also tells us AB will not gain quickness and speed from one end of the floor to the other. I have never seen anybody at a pro level decrease their 40 sprint time, significantly ...EVER!

We are not talking about comparing Kobe and another teammate who is the same maybe a Wade or James, so quit trying to make AB out to be that! It is too much pressure on him to even delude himself that he can be that, let alone non-NBA blogger types delusions!

So, FO - go get that 3pt shooter or two, a waterbug point guard, and that big hops banger I have talked about for well past 2 years now! I wish Brown, Andrew, and Kobe the best year possible next year. We need to send Kobe out with at least two more rings no matter how it happens, or who gets touches or credit!



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