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Kobe Bryant should've been consulted about Mike Brown hire

61376936In a move that will largely define the Lakers' future, the organization hired Coach Mike Brown and left Kobe Bryant out of the process.

In a move the success of which will partly depend on the strength of that relationship, the two are already off on a bad foot.

And in a move that's surprising and frankly disappointing, having a conversation with the team's star player may have avoided a potential problem that lies ahead.

Granted, Bryant isn't in the front office and it's not his responsibility or right to select the head coach. That job description points to Lakers owner Jerry Buss, executive Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak. That doesn't mean Bryant shouldn't have been part of the research process. Lakers' management clearly felt otherwise.

"We really don’t consult the players on these matters," Jerry Buss said Tuesday on Playboy Radio with sports commentator Michael Eaves and former Lakers scout Bonnie-Jill Laflin. "Obviously we have to select somebody who has a reputation that the players would be happy with. But to ask a direct player to select a particular coach, that’s general manager territory. That’s really out of the player domain."

But is it really out of the players' domain for at least the team's superstar to be consulted simply out of respect for the research process? That doesn't mean the Lakers have to listen to Bryant, who would've recommended Brian Shaw, Rick Adelman or Jeff Van Gundy. After all, the Lakers never budged when Bryant demanded to be traded or for the Lakers to "ship his .... out" regarding a possible trade involving Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd back in 2007. They could've reacted toward Bryant's suggestions the same way. Instead, leaving him in the dark only leaves the Lakers open to potential problems they easily could've avoided.

The Lakers will experience an inevitable transition period during the post-Phil Jackson era. The championship window appears to be closing in on this aging roster. Even if it's clear Jim Buss holds Bynum in higher regard for future,  this is not how Bryant should be treated during presumably the last three years of his playing career. 


Kupchak told Sports Illustrated's Dan Patrick that Bryant wasn't consulted in the coaching search and wasn’t notified in advance because the Lakers didn’t know the hiring process would be finished or go public so soon. But the coaching search, as reported by The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner, started May 17, giving the Lakers eight days before agreeing to hire Brown to contact Bryant. That certainly deviates from the front office's attitude last year when Kupchak frequently consulted with Bryant, who in turn had frequent phone and text message exchanges with Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Shannon Brown, Steve Blake and Jackson during the free agency process. 

"His approach was kind of like, 'This is what I’m hearing,'" Kupchak said last summer of Bryant regarding his role with helping the Lakers secure Barnes. "He never said, 'What are you going to do, this is what I want you to do.' It was, 'This is what I’m hearing.'"

Why exactly wouldn't that be valuable during the coaching search?  The importance of doing that goes back to Jerry Buss' comment that they should be aware of finding a coach the players would be happy playing for, but the immediate reaction doesn't suggest Brown really meets that criterion. Bryant's refusal to comment on the issue when contacted by The Times' Turner spoke volumes, especially considering Turner's reporting indicated people close to Bryant characterized him as being "confused" about the hire. Lakers guard Derek Fisher tweeted he's "excited to start a new chapter under Mike Brown," but not before making it clear he considered Brian Shaw "at the top of the list." And Lakers forward Ron Artest, who earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2003-2004 under Brown as a Pacers assistant coach, played coy with fans when they asked him about the hire. He simply wrote, "I'm busy tweeting so I can't answer ur tweets."

That hardly provides any ringing endorsement for Brown. There's nothing personal against him. All accounts say he's a great guy, but what does that really mean in this business? His coaching credentials include a 272-138 record, 2009 NBA Coach of the Year, an NBA Finals appearance and two Eastern Conference Finals appearances, but he wouldn't have been fired in Cleveland if that's the only standard.

Brown may have said all the right things at halftime of the Thunder-Mavericks game on ESPN. He thanked the Buss family. He paid homage to Jackson. He touted  Bryant as a Hall of Famer. Brown spent more time talking about Bryant on the air, however, than he actually did with him over the phone.

"Kobe and I have exchanged texts tonight," Brown said on ESPN. "I imagine we will get on the phone at one point or another. He was busy with his family at one point and so was I so we weren't able to hook up by phone." 

Not even for a single minute? That's all Brown and Bryant would need to exchange simple gestures. . Text messages cover that, but it doesn't take a genius to know a phone call goes further.

Once training camp starts, this might not even be an issue. The Lakers will say all the right things, with Bryant and company touting Brown as a defensive-minded coach and a fresh voice. The true test measuring the validity of Brown's presence will happen the moment the Lakers go through adversity. Should this monumental gamble backfire, it'll be easy to trace back a few steps to where it could've all been avoided. One of those steps would've involved contacting Bryant beforehand.

-- Mark Medina

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant checks the scoreboard on the way to a 93-81 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on May 4 at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Photo: Lakers Coach Mike Brown hasn't spoken with Kobe Bryant by phone yet. Credit: Associated Press

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thats funny because wouldnt KOBE at least say " welcome to LA coach" or " good luck Brown " I mean he said they did txt wright? but he didnt say what exactly they talked about, Brown didnt even say if he congradulated me on becoming the new coach, so your right MM theres something murkey in the waters and we will only find out when September rolls around, even if your with your family, whats a 10 minute phone call going to do, ruin your life? I dont think Kobe wants to discuss that right now, but I guess he will come around to it, once the Pre season starts..

Tech N9ne - Exactly. My colleague Brad Turner talked to some people close to Bryant who said he was confused about the decision. So basically he needs time to think it over. But that' still not a good sign. We'll see what happens.

Also we'll have a chat today at 2:30 talking about all these issues

Tech N9ne - Exactly. My colleague Brad Turner talked to some people close to Bryant who said he was confused about the decision. So basically he needs time to think it over. But that' still not a good sign. We'll see what happens.

Also we'll have a chat today at 2:30 talking about all these issues

Yes, the FO since West left has been in disarray. No respect. Arrogance. They act like a 'yassa massa' is expected out of the "hired help" (players).

I wish the fans would show their disrespect for these arrogant attitudes and quit paying the outrageous prices for Staples seats! Even when I lived in SoCal, I could afford only one game a year with only one of my kids each year! Absurd disrespect toward fans also by the male Buss crew!

yes were going to have a chat very nice! I shall be there!

I was just on BSPN LOS ANGELES, and watch bunch of videos of the analyst talking to BROWN and getting some pointer from Dave Miller?? I dont know who that is, but Brown said he already has a game plan, and he hopes the players will adapt to it. They asked Brown what will LAL be looking forward to seeing you as a new coach, he said that I run my team like a family, and Team first... I guess the analyst were trying to pry some answeres from him as far his offense or even what type of plays he would bring to LAL but he gave no indication of it...

They kept on saying Mike Brown is the NBA's 5th ALL-time winningest coach? based on his record with the Cavs which had LBJ in there, how can you take that as an actual stat lol and what dose it mean when they say 5th all time winningest coach? you can have a superstar that gives you wins in the regular season but what dost that have to do with the Playoffs?? nothing I guess, so this one is way to blurry we need some more answeres.

This was an excellent write up, and I concur 100%

Whether or not Kobe would have agreed with their decision, management could have at least made Kobe feel like he was a part of the process.

The "confusion" part, in my estimation, probably comes from the surprise of the hire, and surprise that his opinion wasn't even sought nor acknowledged in any way.

How hard would it be to say "Kobe, we appreciate your opinion. We have listened to it, and here's what we like and here's where we disagree.... and here are the reasons why we're going to move this direction.... do you see anything that we've missed or didn't consider? Thanks for your help Kobe. We're doing everything we can to give you the best chance at winning as many titles as possible"

Now look, was it that hard?

that's been the past problems of lakers management...kobe has TOO much say in staffing decisions. he's not a coach, he's not an owner, and he's not a team player. no salaries come out of his pocket. he should have been taught to play well with others. his ego is overinflated and lakers should have nipped that in the bud YEARS ago.

I agree Kobe should've been notified prior to the information becoming public. However, I don't think he needed to be consulted. Like someone posted yesterday...a simple (hey Kobe we just wanted to let you know we're bringing Mike Brown in, we love his defense system and like you said the team needs a defense first identity) would have been suffice.

Anyway time heals all wounds...and egos also. Mike Brown and Kobe both have the same goal of winning another title for the Lakers, so they'll get on the same page very soon. Mike Brown will visit Kobe, map out his vision to him and MM will write about Kobe giving the new coach a glowing report.

I don't undertand this hire, but I really don't know Brown well. It may be a great hire.

They seemed to avoid two risks. A high profile coach who would suck up a lot of money and a lot of media attention and be able to force his own style and agenda, like Phil did. Or an inexperienced coach who turns out not be up to the job.

They are taking a real risk with a coach that may not command the respect of the players, a la Adelman or Van Gundy, or already have it, al a Shaw.

We shall see.

As for Kobe, he should have been consulting. But his biological clock is ticking and he will have to go for a couple of titles now. He has no time to fight a coach.

Mark, I really don't get this line of reasoning. Kobe is a player, not a general manager. What does "consulting" with Kobe mean? If the team told Kobe who the candidates were, and who they were leaning towards, what happens if Kobe doesn't like the final decision? Wouldn't he get upset that his opinion was discounted?

Frankly, I think you are vastly overstating (or assuming) that Kobe Bryant would have the professionalism to merely give an opinion and then be grateful merely for the opportunity to be heard if the team went against his wishes. Kobe's reaction (or non-reaction) to the Brown hiring is exactly the kind of tactless and classless behavior that Kobe has always exhibited off the court. Unsurprisingly, the classy approach is the one taken by Fisher.

The very notion of a "team first attitude" that Brown spoke of in his interview would demand that the Lakers not place Kobe's opinion over that of all the other teammates by somehow consulting with him and none of the other players. Were a player to be "consulted" on this matter, it would probably make more sense for a guy like Bynum (who will likely play more years under Brown than Kobe) to get the nod.

Bottom line: when you're on the same side as Bill Plashke on an issue you should know that you are wrong.


This sentence is the essence of EVERYTHING:
"In a move the success of which will partly depend on the strength of that relationship, the two are already off on a bad foot."

IMO, this will be the difference between Kobe being happy/the team being excited, energized, enthusiastic, and ultimately successful or the whole thing crumbling before our eyes. You and I are the only ones that have mentioned this from what I can gather.

The good news is that it's still way early, and just because it's off on a bad foot doesn't mean it will stay that way. I just think Kobe would be feeling a whole lot better right about now (which can translate into better workouts, getting other teammates excited, etc) had he been more involved

" almost all salaries come out of his pocket."

There, I fixed your post momofadj.

You might want to figure out who has been paying the bills for the Lakers for the last 6 seasons, and by "pay" I mean who gets the eyes to watch on TV, gets butts in the seats, and sells merchandise. Hint: it's not Jerry Buss, Mitch Kupchak, or Jim Buss

We're going to push chat to 2:45. I'm going to do a quick interview

Mark, I really don't get this line of reasoning. Kobe is a player, not a general manager. What does "consulting" with Kobe mean? If the team told Kobe who the candidates were, and who they were leaning towards, what happens if Kobe doesn't like the final decision? Wouldn't he get upset that his opinion was discounted?

Posted by: Leo Goose | May 26, 2011 at 12:57 PM

let me explain that in a different way maybe that will answer your question:

Lets say your working for a company XYZ for 15 years, and your are the #1 producer and your an assistant manager of the company, and you answer to your Manager who dose things in a certain way that you have been doing for 15 years, now when the BOSS or owner of the company brings a new MANAGER and dosnt tell you about what or who they are bringing, do you think showing up to work the day they hire a new manager you would fill like everything is normal? and everything will stay the same? No of course not..

you would be definatly upset about it because you spent the last 15 years of your life sweating for a company then you get this new manger overnight and the company dosnt tell you about it, you dont think thats a little not fair from the companys side, I mean after all you are the #1 producer and you certainly a Co-Mananger (asistnat)

so you can see why they should have at least told him " Hey Kobe were think about this guys, what are your toughts or are we headed for the right direction, since you ARE the capitan of the team and we kind of want to get your input on the next coach" and even if lets say KOBE says NO I dont like this guy, that dosnt mean that they should listen to him 100% on making the decision, because its the owners choice not KOBE's but if you want your team producing at 100% then you need to let your captain know what you guys are doing behind his back, after all he gave you guys 5 championship rings, and built most all star players, like Pau Gasol and LO and Bynum so you cant really throw KOBE out of the picture because it dosnt work that way...

So what if you own the company, if your #1 producer dosnt like the idea of a new manager, I think it would be wise to listen to him even if you are decided that you are going to get the new manager...

hope that helps lol


re: my opinion of Blake/Howard over Bynum.

I agree with you it's my opinion. Just like it's your opinion that that would
take Bynum over Blake/Howard.

What is *NOT* opinion is that Blake is faster, more versatile, & has had
less injuries than Bynum. The same is true for Howard vs. Bynum.

you wrote: I would bet most teams out there would prefer to have Andrew Bynum rather than Blake Griffin.

my response: Why?

Some questions to ask: Who has more upside? What does each player bring?
What kind of teammates do you need to surround the player with for
chances at winning?

Quick question for you: We've just watched Bulls, OKC, Mavs & Heat fight
for the chance to play in the Finals. Which team can play at the same speed
that has gotten them to this level, with Bynum on the court?

Now ask the same question with Blake or Howard. The only team where
Bynum might be able to keep up is with the Mavs.

Now you talked incessantly about the size & length of the Lakers and how
crucial Bynum was to the 3-peat. And for a number of reasons it didn't
happen. Which point back to how accurate your assessement was on Bynum
and what he brings to the team/court. And before you start, I am not bashing
Bynum. He had a good season, after the ASG. And I'm not saying to trade

To make sure we're on the same page, I believe your words were:

"The Lakers have not lost with Bynum in the finals, with Bynum as the
starting C." Which is true.

I believe you also wrote: Bynum as the starting C, with Pau as the starting
PF, has won all playoff series. This is now false.

*my* words were that the play of Pau was more valuable than the play of
Bynum, in terms of winning championships, and sadly that was proven
true this playoff season. i.e. Bynum played reasonably well. Pau played like
a chump. We're out of the playoffs.

@Tim-4-Show – I agree we need more info on the Ronnie Lester firing. MM…what you got?

@LakerTom – Thanks for pointing out the Pincus article on coach Brown possibly adding European coach Messina to his staff. Very interesting. He coached Ginobli to one of his titles overseas. FWIW…I think if Drew’s class was re-drafted today he’d go 3rd or 4th.

@Tech 9 – Good point about the lack of discussion regarding coach Brown’s offense. I’m assuming he’ll delegate most of that to whoever he hires as the offensive coordinator.

@frmkt – Jump on in…the water is fine.

What I mean by consulted is just to one give Kobe a heads up of who they're hiring and two just ask for his general feedback. It literally could've been five minutes if nothing else.

While I'm OK with the selection of Mike Brown I'm a little perplexed as to what's the rush? Why wouldn't Jim Buss take the time and interview the other candidates such as Adelman, Van Gundy, Dunleavy, etc... then and only then make the decision.

If Jim Buss had taken the time maybe Kobe would have somehow been included in the loop. I don't know if it should be consulting or just a head up but it would have make it less awkward than the way it happened. Sure I believe they can recover from the "bad start" off the wrong foot but that was totally avoidable. A first class organization in pro basketball such as the Lakers really should have handled that a lot better and smoother.

On a side note maybe I'll try to catch Jim Buss in a bar or something and impress him with my Lakers knowledge. Who knows I might get lucky and Jim decides on the spur-of-moment to offer me a cushy Lakers gig somewhere in the organization, LOL.

Lakers fans, be ready for a real scary roller-coaster ride once Jim Buss gets 100% control of the Lakers and starts making spontaneous decisions based on his "instincts" off the seats of his pants. Yikes!

that graph at the top says volume.


makes a lot of the arguments that you make.


I can now say the Lakers have not lost in the playoffs with DJ Mbenga as
a backup C.

in conclusion....

"Anyway time heals all wounds...and egos also. Mike Brown and Kobe both have the same goal of winning another title for the Lakers, so they'll get on the same page very soon. Mike Brown will visit Kobe, map out his vision to him and MM will write about Kobe giving the new coach a glowing report."

Posted by: LRob2 | May 26, 2011 at 12:56 PM

LRob - A G R E E D!

hobbitmage - you guys are talking about hypothetical situation, so lets just leave it at that or else you can talk about this for eternity and you wont find a solution, but you will get different people stating different opinion, which means that discussion isnt going anywhere lol

Tech, your analogy does not help me to understand Medina's point any better.

Nobody denies that Kobe has been this team's top player. However, he is a player. Teams that elevate one player over all others as it relates to a new coach are asking for trouble in the locker room. One could easily argue that over the last 3 years Pau Gasol has every bit as much to do with the Lakers success as Kobe. So, should Pau have been "consulted" as well? If not, why not, and if so, where do you draw the line? How about free agent signings? Trades?

If the question is "notice" rather than "consultation" then I totally agree: no player on the team should find out about a coaching change through the media. One would think that at a minimum a simple email or text message to every player on the roster would be appropriate so they aren't blindsided by someone in the media. However, soliciting Kobe's (or any other player's) opinion in a coaching search is just patently wrong, as it would be in a private company analogy like yours if the owner of the company is asked to "consult" with a worker when choosing who to hire to manage that worker.

Let's say you're in a platoon and the general is going to assign a new commander to the platoon. There's one guy that has been there longer than others and is a total Bad A** and is like Rambo in combat. This guy also helps get the rest of the platoon on the same page, comes up with in battle strategies in the heat of action, helps the commander come up with adjustments and is for all intents and purposes another commander except he also fights whereas the commander just sits there and directs the platoon.

Now, seeing how pivotal the relationship is between the BA and the commander, would you NOT want to at least discuss the traits, qualities, etc that should be considered when replacing the commander? Would it not be wise to give this BA the heads up so that the relationship can blossom well before any action is seen?

If you don't understand this, you simply don't understand team dynamics, especially when you have a star that's very involved like this.

@ Leo Goose - well I see what your getting at here, and your point regarding other superstars in the team... which is true to some degree...

But you cant say we should have notified Pau Gasol since he is a good player also and was here for the last 3 years, because he didnt dedicate his life to LAL, he came along, who knew who Pau Gasol was before coming to LAL? did you really think of him as a outstanding player? no you didnt! Did you think that he could play championship calibar game? nobody knew gasol once he came to the Lakers and it was thanks to KOBE that he shined in LA, if Kobe didnt pass him the ball how was he suppose to even be an "ALL-STAR" or rack up his points...

You make a good point but dont forget, that you always need a team captain, in every single team sport thats played, there is always a captain, in SOCCER every single team, has a captain, some of them wont even play unless they have a captain, in NFL, NBA, MLB ext ext ext... you always have a capitan and need a capitan to balance the whole team, and make the rest of the team look up to him, as some what of a leader, his familiarity with a team, and since his a great player he gets the role... Pau wasnt around in 96, Bynum wasnt there, Lo wasnt there, artest wasnt there, the only true captains that everyone knows is KB and DFish...

some people will take "consult" and "notice" differantly, some would say its the same thing, but the bottom line is he shouldnt have found out throught the media, like I said before, he was the only original Laker besides DFISH that stayed on the team, remember Shaq? yeah if he stayed in LA who knows maybe they would give Shaq a heads up or " notice" about a change in coach...

Also my anology is a little rought, but the idea is there, yes the company dosnt have to let the Assistant manager know about a manager change, but dont you think the productivity of the Assistant manager would be affected some way or another with the new Manager? weather good or bad there will be a difference, and thats all I'm saying...

a little heads up can go a long way...
you make some valid points but you can argue my case as well...

bottom line is EVERY SINGLE TEAM SPORT needs a CAPITAN, a leader, a professional, and high knowledge sportsman... in order to succeed!

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | May 26, 2011 at 02:04 PM

Tim...I salute you sir!!! very well done!! thats exactly what I was trying to say, but you came up with a better example than me but non the less my hats off to you sir!!!

Tim, you are talking about perhaps the most success owner in the history of professional sports. I think the Buss family is perfectly capable of hiring a coach without needing input from a player. This entire discussion is predicated on the idea that the team should cater (more) to Kobe's ego. If you think THAT is the proper approach, then you most certainly don't understand team dynamics.

This team just got destroyed in the playoffs because they did not play team ball. Andrew Bynum discussed "deep" trust issues in the locker room, and their play on the court proved him right. Against this backdrop you want to elevate one player above all others? Didn't we just finish a few weeks of discussions about how Kobe's special treatment in the form of sitting out nearly every practice hurt this team's chemistry?

The bottom line is this: Jerry Buss is the best owner in all of pro sports, and HE determined that the best available candidate is the one who emphasized a team first attitude. He then proceeded to hire that guy without elevating any single Laker player over the others. I'm pretty comfortable being on the side of Jerry Buss on this one. If Kobe's feelings are hurt, perhaps he can get over it while counting some of the $20 million that Jerry Buss paid him last year. I think Kobe's status on this team is pretty clear, and if he needs to be further coddled then he's a lot more LeBron than he is MJ....

@ Leo - there is no such thing as " elevating " one player from the rest, maybe you didnt notice but dont you think Kobe has elevated himself as a good player in the team? He dosnt need Buss to tell him his a good player and a loyal player for that matter!

its not about Kobes ego, its about showing a little respect for the guy who brought 5 championships to your team!! Its about showing your team capitan that you want the team to succeed. The team should cater to Kobe to some degree, because he is the name of the franchise that they built... when other people talk about Lakers who do they think of Magic Johnson, KAJ, worth, baylor, and KOBE... there are many more but thats an example... Kobe didnt need special treatment from BUSS to become a really great player, he showed BUSS why he should get 20millin a year, and Buss paid him...

Go ask every single laker right now, and watch how they will tell you that KOBE is the capitan of the team, dose that mean that the BUSS family made it that way by feeding BRYANT his ego?? I dont think so, even MIKE BROWN said KOBE's a HALL OF FAMER, players from other teams knows this is KOBE's team, they dont say this is Gasol's or Bynums team, this is KOBE's team and will always be until he retires or plays for a different team!

KOBE ELEVATED, he didnt need to be fed to become great, he was great and thats a true leader!

I am agree. this among a list of stupid moves by Jerry Buss. You don't disrespect your franchise player by hiring a coach without consulting him.

The fact that Kobe and Mike Brown have yet to speak, should be cause for concern. IMO this sounds more like The Buss Family trying to send a message to Kobe, and unfortunately it will come back to hurt the Buss family more than Kobe. right from the start Buss has put Mike Brown in a bad position.

It is my hope ,that this not a preview of Lakers postseason rebuilding because its starting on the wrong foot.

"other superstars in the team"

I don't understand. How many Hall of Famers are playing with the Lakers currently? There's only one that I know of. Did I miss someone?

Tech, again, if by "respect" you mean that Kobe should have been informed about this decision sooner, then I agree. If you think the appropriate way to respect Kobe is to involve him in the hiring process by "consulting" with him (as Medina advocates) I totally disagree.

Kobe has earned a huge amount of respect by the organization. The organization, in turn, has shown more than enough respect to Kobe by making him the highest paid player on the team, designating him as captain, allowing him to sit out most practices while others have to sweat it out, standing by him when he is accused of rape (something, by the way, that stemmed from Kobe going to Denver to have knee surgery during the offseason WITHOUT INFORMING THE LAKERS, which is hardly showing respect back to your employer...), and building the team around him.

So, to repeat, I think the organization could have handled this better from a notification standard. My preference would have been for Mitch to call up every player on the roster, starting with Kobe, and (if the player doesn't answer) leave a message informing him of the decision. Anything more than that is not practical if applied to the entire team, and to single a player out for different treatment is, yes, elevating that player above all others in a way that would almost undoubtedly (and understandably) piss off guys like Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

You seem to be dismissing Kobe's contract as something he merely "earned" and not something that shows respect. Kobe's current deal is hugely a matter of respect, because with his recent extension there is no doubt that he is going to be a grossly overpaid player whose contract prevents the team from making necessary improvements long before the contract expires.

All this "consultation" talk really just masks fan frustration over the selection of Mike Brown. Had the team hired Brian Shaw, none of this talk would have occurred, and yet Kobe would have been "consulted" by the team just as much--as in not at all.

This smells like Jim Buss' ego was making a statement that he's in charge. Ego-driven decisions are not good for any organization.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Don't confuse correlation with causation Leo.

" I think the Buss family is perfectly capable of hiring a coach without needing input from a player"

Hmmm. Okay: Westhead. How did that one go over with the players? And what happened when the BA spoke up? Hmm.
Dunleavy; yeah, that one worked out
Pfund; uh huh
Del Harris, Rambis - both won us titles because the owner is super duper awesome huh

Seriously. You omit many pieces that go into a champion, and you're forgetting some very significant pieces that went into crafting the Showtime & Lake Show era Lakers.

One guy essentially constructed BOTH squads.

That guy works for Golden State now.

You might want to remember that.

Should this monumental gamble backfire, it'll be easy to trace back a few steps to where it could've all been avoided. One of those steps would've involved contacting Bryant beforehand.

-- Mark Medina


I don't see how you can arrive at a conclusion like this as there is no way to possibly substantiate it.

Everyone knew Kobe's choice was Shaw so it is safe to assume that he would be disappointed in any choice other than that.
Since mgmt knew Kobe's preference there was no point in 'consulting' him.

Besides, the handwriting was already on the wall. When a company has an opening for a position that would be a promotion for you and you tell them you want that job and they tell you they will keep you in mind but that you should go ahead and interview at other companies also, that tells you right there you ain't getting that job. Kobe should have known it wasn't going to be Shaw but that's not really the point.

The point is there was no reason for mgmt to 'consult' with a player regarding the hire of other mgmt.
Look, Kobe already has an ego the size of the grand canyon and that's going to be one of the issues Brown will have to deal with.

Kobe couldn't talk to Brown because he was busy with his family? Give me a break.
That sounds more like he is pouting because his guy didn't get the job.

If Kobe doesn't trust mgmt to hire the right guy, why should they trust him?
The mgmt looks at a bigger and different picture than Kobe.
They got him Shaq and that lasted until they could no longer co-exist, then they got him Pau and now there are indications that relationship may be breaking down. They pay him a huge amount of money and have surrounded him with players to help him achieve his and their goal of winning championships.
The Buss family has already proven themselves, there may not be a better owner is all of pro sports.

Kobe should have trust in the owners and he should have embraced his new coach and told him he really looked forward to meeting him soon instead of his "no comment".

It was a no win situation for the Lakers, consulting with Kobe and then ignoring him may have been worse than not asking for his input.
Now you (MM) seem to be back tracking and say they should have at least given Kobe a heads up.
That's a whole different ball of wax as opposed to 'consulting' him about the decision of who they hire and if that's all your saying your article could have been one short paragraph.

This is a team with issues and the internal dynamics are a problem and there is a possibility that Kobe is part of the problem.
Hiring a new head coach is not a situation you involve a player with in this situation.

@ Tim - Lmao thats what I'm saying, Kobe didnt need to kiss Dr Buss's a.s to get more money, he proved to dr buss that he is the guy for Lakers so how can there be more than one superstar? they just say that gasol nd Bynum are superstars but they are not, they are roll players, just like LO... the only people who say the rest of the guys are superstarts are the BSPN and NBA analyst who consider their skills...

there were 2 superstars in LA once, that was KOBE and SHAQ but thats long over with, all we have is one guy and his name is KOBE...

Take DFISH for example his been in the game same as kobe, they came to the league at the same time, they were on the same team for most of the time, but how come DFISh isnt considered an All star or a teams capitan, or is a high efficency player? thats because DFISH didnt prove to BUSS why he should get the big bucks and the title of the capitan...

Since when does management have to consult with the top player on the team? That is what is wrong with today's sports - front office full of wusses. Essentially that is the inmates running the asylum. I like the saying players play, coaches coach, and management manages. This is not the LA Kobes, Magics or Kareems. All this ado and not one game has been played or coached. Give the man a chance. Not to say B Shaw would have been the choice but any time the players want a certain coach, it should be viewed with skepticism. Players' coaches have won how many championships (look at Rex Ryan and Wade Phillips for guidance). Although both have made it to the playoffs, they have as many rings as me - NONE. I do not know if Brown is a disciplinarian or someone who takes no guff off players but he must have a strong will/constitution to deal with inflated egos. Love Kobe and what he has done but again, this is the Lakers, not any individual player's team unless he wants to pay salaries.

@Tim, I'm pretty well-acquainted with the impact that Jerry West had on the Lakers. I'm also fairly confident that Jerry West did not "consult" with Kareem on the decision to hire Pat Riley, or draft Magic Johnson, or any of the other decisions that made the 80's Lakers so great. Nor did management "consult" with Kobe Bryant about bringing back Phil Jackson or deciding NOT to trade Andrew Bynum. Exactly how does your preferred approach solve the "trust issues" that Bynum spoke of and that were so evident during this disastrous playoff run?

@Tech, treating superstars differently than the rest of the team (aside from salary, playing time, and status as "captain") is a perfect recipe for disunity. Without Pau Gasol, the Lakers would not have made three consecutive trips to the finals. Until his utter collapse in the playoffs he was routinely described as the most talented big man in the NBA. That's a pretty freaking good record, and grounds for him to feel slighted if the team elected to "consult" with Kobe but not with Pau.

@Art, well-said. Medina's bias is thoroughly exposed by his characterization of this hire as a "monumental gamble" as if hiring a completely untested rookie coach from the current staff that apparently had zero capability to inspire this team would be less of a gamble. The Lakers just hired a guy whose defensive track record is better than any available coach, and whose teams have vastly outperformed their inherent talents. To an objective observer, that's a smart move and a reasonable way to try to replace a legend; to someone with an axe to grind, it is a monumental gamble....

Jon K, I'm totally with you on the message being sent by Jim Buss to Kobe (and everyone else too). The conversation so far on these threads have been focused on the significance of "Kobe wasn't consulted/notified," like it wasn some minor etiquette faux pas, like using the wrong fork for the salad dish. Negatori. This was a major message: "I'm in charge now, and frankly I don't care what you think about it, Kobe. Talk to the hand that signs your checks."

No, I don't think it was an oversight. In past years, Kobe was unquestionably the indispensable key to the team, and so everyone, including Jerry Buss himself hovered around Kobe on just about every key decision. Well, the fact that they're not doing so this time is an unmistakable sign that that's no longer the case.

I suspect that Kobe's not going to take that very well. He's a very proud guy, and he still sees himself as the top dog, not just on the Lakers, but in the league. This has some real serious drama potential. We'll see.

Let us all put things in perspective shall we. Dr. Buss spent $100 million + for the lakers to 3 peat. $90 million for the players and $10 million for coach PJ. That is not including the assistant coaches, scouts etc. cost. Dr. buss also went on record in saying that this was his most talented team ever. The lakers played pathetically in the regular season. In the playoffs they got a historic beat down by the mavs. When you spend 1/10th of a billion dollars on a few people and everything goes up in flames you will look for someone(s) to blame. PJ is one and the other is the mamba. PJ took care of himself by resigning. The mamba is the one who was left and he had to be brought in line. Kobe in his exit interview reiterated his eat first creed. The Buss showed him that they are fed up with his attitude by not even consulting the ego maniac. Look at Coach Brown in his first interview he said all the things that are anti Kobe. Family atmosphere, team first etc. I'm sure Buss told him about the chemistry issues due to Kobe. I love Dr. buss and jim is a chip off the old block.

@ Leo - yes we are kind of wonder and frustrated why in the world they would select Mike Brown as our head coach, if you are a big fan of Lakers, then you start to question who Mike Brown really is... and thats what we are doing.

Since any other coach would be a little more predictable on what we can look forward to this coming season, but with Mike Brown its just questions marks????

yes Dr Buss actually cross that JIM BUSS has every right to select a coach that he likes without consolting any player, that is true i give you that... but do you realize what that dose to your franchise palyer? this is what i would feel if i was KOBE, coming from the BuSS family..

" hey kobe we think that your a terrific player, you have been in this league with us from 96, we went on a roller coaster ride, you gave us 5 championships, you were trained by the best ( PJ ) you brought us ticket sales, jersey, sales, you became a household name for the Lakers and a team capitan, we value your hard work, and dedication to this team, you proved to us, year after year just exactly how the game needs to be played and we love and thank you for that........... BUT FRANKLY WE DONT GIVE A S#*& about WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY, OR YOUR TOUGHTS IN REGARDS TO HIRING A NEW COACH! " and thats why you got " no comment "

Leo why are you saying BUSS showed KOBE respect?? that is false, dont even go there, KOBE got respect by bringing 5 championships to LA, jersey sells, ticket sales, who was the one who dropped 81 points on a team single handandly, who was the one who brought you 40+ points for so many games in a row, he DID earn his respect, thats why BUSS paid him the big $$ not because they " care " for kobe or they " respect " Kobe, because if kobe didnt preforme you think BUSS would have paid him millions of dollars anyway? so stop saying they showed KOBE respect, no KOBE got the respect by playing the game, or else he would have been coming off the bench and getting paid rookie money...

what did DR BUSS say all the time he said " I run the Lakers as a business not as a team " so when he says that do you seriously think he would overpay his star player???

that should answer your questions...
were not saying they had no right in hiring a new coach, were just saying " hey kobe, were getting brown " thats it... you guys make Kobe look like a little pieace of smirk in the Lakers dynasty, you guys are underestimatin him way too much, and quite frankly this is not from DR BUSS, its his SON JIM BUSS!!

Who is this guy?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but many opinions are flat out incorrect.

We're not talking about management consulting a player on who to draft. We're not talking about management consulting a player on who to trade. We're talking about consulting on leadership.

Management was VERY concerned with PJ's relationship with Kobe. So they canned PJ. When management was no longer concerned, they hired him back and Kobe was thankful.

Jerry West saved Showtime. Jerry Buss was this close to blowing it up.

Your theories aren't so black and white my friend. There's such a thing as team dynamics and they count for a whole lot in this game and in any other game when they come into play. I can tell you just don't have any experience with it, and that's cool, not very many people do.

I'm speaking from experience here. It counts. It counts BIG. This was a blunder by management, but not something that can't be overcome.

I suspect that Kobe's not going to take that very well. He's a very proud guy, and he still sees himself as the top dog, not just on the Lakers, but in the league. This has some real serious drama potential. We'll see.

Posted by: CornerJ4real | May 26, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Corner J,

So what are you saying? Kobe's going to sabotage the team or do something to undermine his coach/owner? Anything Kobe does that hurts the Lakers hurts his "legacy". Please elaborate on the potential drama.

@MM... Even politics with all of its conspiracy theories can’t match the unadulterated drama and zaniness that surrounds the Lakers franchise. Before Phil even gasses his ride and heads to Montana, bloggers have criticized and condemned the Lakers decision to hire Mike Brown as their next coach and accused Jim Buss of disrespecting Kobe Bryant by not discussing their decision with him.
Frankly, I’m glad that the Lakers did not discuss their coaching decision in advance with Kobe who had already declared that he supported promoting Brian Shaw to succeed Phil as the next head coach. Including Kobe in the process would have just continued the sense of entitlement that led Kobe to free lance on offense and defense and make disconcerting comments about the team’s pecking order.
It’s obvious there is a huge disconnect between the players who supported Shaw and the front office that obviously believed it was time for a change because of the embarrassing way the season ended.
I also believe that the Lakers front office declined to involve Kobe in the coaching situation because they wanted to hire a coach whom they thought would be able to regain control over the players.
Kobe clearly laid out his requirements for the new head coach, which specifically included a defensive orientation. What he probably really wanted more than a defensive coach was just another coach who would give him the freedom and trust on the court that Phil had given him to do what he wanted. I think Jim and Jerry Buss were tired of a team that refused to take advantage of their superior length and wanted to clearly so in a new direction where the coach coached and the players followed orders.

Now that you think of it only kobe, fisher and walton endorsed shaw. I could be wrong but i never read where bynum or gastrong endorsed shaw. Shaw as coach would have been a puppet leader with the mamba as the puppet master. i could imagine shaw being announced as the lakers head coach. Grinning he thanked the busses and mitch. He also thanked phil for teaching him the triangle. Finally, he layed out the lakers offensive scheme by stating you know kobe will be eating first.....

... but how come DFISh isnt considered an All star or a teams capitan, or is a high efficency player? thats because DFISH didnt prove to BUSS why he should get the big bucks and the title of the capitan...

Posted by: Tech N9ne

Actually, Fish is a co-captain with Kobe.

He is famous throughout Laker-land as the one who gives the motivational speeches and is the good cop to Kobe's bad cop.
He is the Lakers inspirational leader.

So why wasn't Fish 'consulted'?
He has 5 rings too.

At least Fish said "he's excited to start a new chapter under Mike Brown".

Mark Medina, I just heard your interview with Darren Smith. Good job. I'm very impressed with your knowledge of all things Lakers.

I know Brian Shaw was the clear choice by the players and fans, but I just don't think that this roster deserves a first year head coach. These players are just too good to let a first year coach experiment on. We need someone who has a plan. I also think that the Triangle is an offense that requires a coach with Phil Jackson's experience to coach. I mean, even Phil needed the expertise of Tex Winter to coach that offense. So why would we expect Brian Shaw, who has only about 10 years of experience (3 years as a coach) in that offense to be able to coach the Los Angeles Lakers how to run it effectively? I just think it would have been unfair to everyone from the fans to the players to Brian Shaw himself if the Lakers were to put that burden on him without the experience necessary to get the job done.

Should Kobe have been consulted about the hiring of Mike Brown? I think he should have, but it's not the end of the world. I don't think Kobe is going to hold much of a grudge about it either. Kobe's job is to play basketball no matter who is coaching. Personally, I think Kobe will be fine with coach Brown, it's in his best interests.

The goal is still to win the championship. The players have the type of experience that no other team in the NBA has. I think Mike Brown will reinforce many of the little details of the game that were really ignored this year by this team. I'm actually excited about the team this year. They should have a lot to prove with the way they went out. I can't see Mike Brown getting in the way of that by preaching defense and rebounding. If the Lakers want to win, they'll let Mike Brown do his thing. I don't think he's going to come in and be an authoritarian type. He said it himself, he just wants to continue the legacy. I think he's smart enough to know where he can make an impact and where he needs to let things be.

Once we trade Pau Gasol, either during this offseason or during the season, I think we'll be in a very good place when it comes to winning the championship. I would also like to see the Lakers take this regular season seriously. There's no reason why this team can't have the best record in the league next year. We can't worry about injuries this year, it's got to be about winning and building chemistry in the process.

Go Lakers!

So what are you saying? Kobe's going to sabotage the team or do something to undermine his coach/owner?
Posted by: LRob2 | May 26, 2011 at 03:11 PM

LRob (Same as LRob2?...can't tell anymore with the new logins), Ummmmm...Yes. I certainly think he "could". I certainly know he is "capable" of that level of petulance (anybody remember the Bynum speech he had in the parking lot?). But "would" he? We'll see.

And unlike Island Priest, I say this as someone who tremendously values Kobe and believes he has several really good years left, and who will bounce back big physically next year. In short, I'm a Kobe fan, not a Kobe hater.

But I'm an objective guy, and I'm not afraid to call 'em as I see 'em. I'm smelling smoke here, and I think there very well could be fire.

Let's see - it has been 36 hours since the Brown hiring announcement. Plashcke, the leader of the sky is falling in Lakerland says it was a bad move and this is from a homer who did not think the team had the right stuff last year and the opposite this postseason. Medina, he hates the firing like he was in the boardroom and they vetoed his say in the matter. Limited pool of candidates to be considered. Adelman (no), JVG (like his defense philosophy but if he talks/coach like he talks on TV, no to him too), Sloan ( just as tired as PJ so let him rest). I like the Lakers' long run thinking for 3 major things let them down outside of #16 - lack of speed, defense and outside shooting or in other words two things that can be fixed with personnel changes and the other with coaching philosophy. Mitch and the rest have to look deeply at what is available and what they are willing to lose (free agency, trades) to attain speed and better outside shooting. They addressed the change in coaching philosophy form triangle to defense first. Again give Brown a chance. I am not worried (yet) because nothing else has changed but if the team is the exact same this time in November, we will be on here griping again.

@Tech, I get it, you don't think Jerry Buss has respected Kobe properly. Fine. I'll go ahead and disagree with you on that, and will point to the things I listed in my previous post as examples of the respect showered on Kobe. You can conveniently forget about Kobe going off and doing his own thing in Colorado, or publicly demanding the team trade Bynum, or later publicly stating that he wouldn't play again for the Lakers, but I won't be joining you in shedding any tears for poor Kobe Bryant.

@Tim, if you are directing your last comment towards me, I guess I am curious about why you think "team dynamics" are improved by elevating Kobe Bryant to a different status than any other player on the team by making him a de facto member of management as it relates to hiring a new coach. Especially on the heels of a post-season collapse in which this team's biggest issue was its inability to play together as a team. I've been a member of a team in both a sports context and a business context, and I can assure you that when favoritism is exhibited towards a team member it can very easily breed hostility and resentment among the other team members who were not similarly favored. The fallout from the way the Lakers handled this is one ego-bruised player. Had they done it your way, you'd likely have multiple ego-bruised players. I don't see the upside....

But I'm an objective guy, and I'm not afraid to call 'em as I see 'em. I'm smelling smoke here, and I think there very well could be fire.

Posted by: CornerJ4real

If Kobe does anything other than fully embrace Brown and try his best to work with and implement whatever the coach says and instead does hold a grudge and does things to sabotage his own chances of winning another championship then I will officially consider him to be an idiot.

I think Kobe wants to win more than anything and he knows his days are numbered and he doesn't have much time left to get another ring.

I believe Kobe wants a 6th ring more than anything else.

Re: Kobe not being consulted on Brown

Yo Kobe, payback's a biatch isn't it?

Remember when you were a young whippersnapper in 2004 driving out Shaq so you can be the man in LA?

How does it feel being the "old guy now"? LOL...LMAO

@ Leo Goose - listen I'm not saying DR buss didnt shower KOBE with love or with respect, All I'm saying is, when you have a franchise player which is KOBE, not gasol not bynum not fish, but KOBE, who has the #1 jersey sales, and is the reason why everyone comes to Laker games, do you seriously belive that KOBE should be treated as the rest of the team, like steve blake?? Shannon? the bench? joe smith? Ratliff? yeah? well thats what you are saying, your saying if they told kobe " hey were getting Brown" then its like saying the rest of the team sucks and KOBES god? my friend your not thinking str8 today... because thats way off what me and Tim are saying... all were saying is, you have a freaking franchise player, ask anyone in any NBA team and they will tell you its KOBE's team, not Gasol's not BYNUM not ODOM's... its KOBE's team for a reason... so why not show him some gratitude, or even if you dont care what he thinks, send him a txt saying " hey man were getting brown " and thats the end of that...

lets just end this convo and argument guys, everyone is entitled to their opinions, that includes all of us and MM... so lets move on to the next topic, because clearly we will be arguing until the next years playoffs...

LETS AGREE TO DISAGREE!!! one of my favorite quotes!

with that said, Im about to leave for today, thank you everyone for your contribution...

Peace out! yall see you tmrw!

Kobe's contract is based on his performance on the court, and has very little to do with the respect management has or does not have for him...
Kobe is a Captain of the team, and the franchises key player.. to not get Kobe's input on a position as key as coach; has no valid justification.
To apply an employee management formula, to the running of a sports franchise is ridiculous.
If the Buss Family wants to flaunt its Management powerlessness.. then they should direct their energies, to getting a Point Guard ,and a bench that will allow them to compete in today’s NBA.

I am a Cavs fan who has lived in LA for 30 years. I am surprised that Brian Shaw did not get the job. Everyone thought that he was being groomed as Jackson's successor.
HOWEVER, The powers that be (Buss) decided to go a different route by hiring Mike Brown. With one superstar and a group of 'B' Team players, Brown made the Cavs a top 5 offensive and defensive team in a short period of time. Brown took them to the playoffs and finals and won coach of the year.
MIKE BROWN brings a lot to the Lakers and with a few tweaks here and there the Lakers will win a Championship in one year or two years. The Lakers will once again be a top tier defensive team and they will win more games next year than they did this past year.

let me clarify - I think it would've been helpful to consult Bryant for a variety of reasons. 1. It's good to give a courtesy heads up on who they're hiring so Bryant can then tell his teammates before they find out through the media. 2. Asking Bryant's input doesn't mean he's part of the panel selecting coaches. It's simply part of the research process. Mitch had acknowledged last year that Kobe was helpful during free agency with telling him the lay of the land. Sure that's different because it involves players. But it still should be part of their due diligence in doing their homework. The fact that the Lakers held exactly ONE interview with a coach is troubling. This is one of the most prestigious coaching positions in all of sports and they pull the trigger after interviewing ONE guy? Doesn't make any sense. 3. Sure, Phil gave Kobe the freedom. But it was also a balancing act. There were plenty of times Phil pulled him in to reestablish control. My problem with Brown is I don't know how much he'll really stand up to Kobe. I feel like he's going to be afraid of him.

Yo Kobe, payback's a biatch isn't it?

Remember when you were a young whippersnapper in 2004 driving out Shaq so you can be the man in LA?

How does it feel being the "old guy now"? LOL...LMAO



1. It's good to give a courtesy heads up on who they're hiring so Bryant can then tell his teammates before they find out through the media.

I'll ask you this. Did the Lakers consult with Shaq when they chose Kobe over him?

Kobe is never above the team.

Yo Yo. Tech N9ne and MM seem like the few making sense here. on the real.
Not that Kobe should be part of the final decision making on this... but a little respect and common sense would say he should have at least had a call prior to the announcement. He is the face and star of the team. At the very least for the chemistry and to start this new chapter on the right foot...a 10-min call could have done.

Kobe's the one filling the seats for the last 10+ years. Who you think is gonna fill the seats when he's gone???????? Mike Brown or Jim (white-trash) Buss ??????????

go watch this video start to finish (10 mins) and tell me who should or shouldn't have been given a heads up for the new coach of the team.



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