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Five thoughts on Mike Brown becoming the Lakers' coach

Mike Brown 2 Five thoughts on the reported deal for the Lakers to hire Mike Brown as their next coach:

1. The Lakers should've hired Brian Shaw. I'm not thrilled with the Lakers' decision ... scratch that ... Jim Buss' decision to hire Mike Brown as the new Lakers' coach because of all the "con" reasons I highlight in this item I posted earlier. It's clear that the Lakers wanted to move in a  new direction away from  Phil Jackson's leadership, but it's quite striking that an early playoff exit suddenly ruined Shaw's chances. Although the Lakers never had any formalized agreement of any sort, it had always been presumed that Shaw would have succeeded Jackson because of his long familiarity with the triangle and his strong relationship with the players. Instead, the Lakers suddenly are going in a completely different direction.

It's not always bad to start something new, and it's clear by the way things ended in the Lakers' 2011 Western Conference semifinals sweep to the Dallas Mavericks that Jackson had lost his effectiveness with the team. But that doesn't mean it's necessary to completely start from scratch. It'd be one thing if Shaw was passed up in favor of Rick Adelman because of Shaw's lack of head coaching experience;  Adelman's corner offense bears some familiarity with the triangle. But I'm not convinced Brown will be able to squeeze championships out of this current roster because there's too much of an adjustment period. The Lakers have taken pride in having great success with taking risky decisions that work out in the end. I don't believe, however, that this is one of them. 

Mike Brown 32. How are the players going to respond to Brown? Brown has been credited with convincing LeBron James to become a strong-minded defensive player, skill James has shown  consistently -- and most recently in his Game 4 effort with Miami against Chicago in the 2011 Eastern Conference finals. But the Cavaliers' firing of Brown following the team's 2010  conference finals loss to Boston pointed to James eventually tuning him out and the organization's hopes that dumping Brown could convince James to choose Cleveland during free agency. That doesn't give me much confidence that Brown will have a solid working relationship with Kobe BryantSports Illustrated's Sam Amick talked to a source who indicated Bryant was "surprised" to hear the Lakers favored Brown and that he was never consulted about it. The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner reported that Bryant offered no comment on Brown's hire and that people close to Bryant indicate he was confused by the hire. That's hardly the kind of reaction you'd want to hear from the team's star player.

Bryant, no doubt, will say all the right things and praise his new coach, as will any other Lakers' player. But that means absolutely nothing. The players will reveal their true feelings in how they actually respond to Brown's coaching, particularly if the Lakers go through any rough patches. There was already going to be inevitable transition period with any coach, because no one can really fully replace Jackson. Brown may argue that his experience coaching James will help give him insight on how to properly coach Bryant, but I'm convinced his reputation will ultimately be used against him. Bryant, who reportedly had wanted Adelman, Jeff Van Gundy or Shaw as the Lakers' coach, joined Derek Fisher and Luke Walton in publicly endorsing Shaw to be the next coach, in part because of his familiarity with their personnel. But there's a bigger reason, explained best by The Times' T.J. Simers: Shaw "has been around Bryant since Bryant was a kid, and by all accounts from those close to the Lakers, only Shaw and Fisher have what it takes to deal with Bryant's maniacal desire to win at all costs." I'm not convinced Brown will have a full grasp on how to handle that.

3. What will the Lakers' offense look like? Brown had often been criticized for lacking much offensive structure with Cleveland and allowing James to essentially do everything. It's hard to fault Brown, considering the low talent level that surrounded James, so it'll be an easier time working with actual talent. But it'd be way too presumptuous to think Brown will automatically have more success on the offensive end with the Lakers simply because of their talent. That's actually the main reason the Lakers' offense remained so inconsistent last year -- because everyone felt they didn't have to work as a unit to produce. Bryant believed at times he could still thrive in isolation sets. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum believed it should be automatic that the Lakers' backcourt feed them inside, regardless of how effective they were in establishing post positioning. And despite the Lakers shooting 28.9% from three-point range in the postseason, the team still stubbornly settled for treys and mid-range jumpers instead of finding higher-percentage shots. 

The reason the triangle didn't work this past season was because the Lakers didn't run it properly. Even if the Lakers aren't going to run that system next year, they still need  a structured setting so that everyone knows his role and there's a higher incentive to play as a team. Toward the end of the season, however, the Lakers played as if they were in a pickup game. With Brown lacking much of a reputation for having offensively strong teams, this issue remains unsettling.

4. The Lakers should thrive under Brown's defense. The Lakers appeared to hit their stride when they went 17-1 after the All-Star break, largely because of the team's embracing of a new defensive scheme that emphasized funneling drivers into the lane and avoiding switching so the Lakers wouldn't get mixed up in rotations. Despite that success, the Lakers lacked a solid foundation because of their inconsistent focus and eventual distrust in each other on helping. Particularly with the Lakers returning next season with fresh motivation from a disappointing playoff push, it's conceivable the Lakers will buy into Brown's defensive philosophy. 

In his first year as Cleveland's coach, in the 2005-06 campaign, the Cavaliers ranked 10th in points allowed and 18th in field-goal percentage allowed. By his fourth year, Cleveland finished first in both categories and, in his final year, they were fifth in points allowed and third in percentage allowed. Even if Bynum wants a larger role in the offense, it's likely he'll embrace the defensive role he solidified last season. Since Ron Artest won the 2003-04 defensive player of the year award under Brown's defensive system in Indiana, it's also likely he'll flourish defensively even more than what he provided in the past two seasons with the Lakers.

5. How will Brown's hire affect the Lakers' roster? The most immediate decisions surrounding the Lakers' roster points to the player options for Shannon Brown ($2.37 million) and Matt Barnes ($1.91 million) and the team options to Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter (a combined $1.6 million). Neither Shannon Brown nor Barnes would reveal their intentions during their respective exit interviews, but The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported in they both have a general idea. Barnes, who's been on eight teams in his eight-year career, has often mentioned his desire for stability and told Bresnahan he is "comfortable" exercising his option to stay with the Lakers next season. Brown, who received what Bresnahan characterized as a "lukewarm response" during free agency last season, acknowledged to Bresnahan that testing free agency again would be the "best scenario" but made it clear he hadn't made a  decision. Those are answers we'll surely find out soon. 

Besides that, it's safe to say that both the roles for Derek Fisher and Luke Walton won't be the same. The Lakers didn't have a conventional point guard and used Fisher instead in the triangle because the offense centered around passing. Since the Lakers are moving away from the triangle, there's more of a need to get speed in their backcourt, as Jackson had suggested during their exit interview. That means it'd be more important for the Lakers to find a way to acquire either Chris Paul or Deron Williams through free agency in 2012 than Dwight Howard. Also, if Walton thought he didn't have much of a role last season, he's really going to be in for a huge disappointment next season, given that his biggest selling point was knowing the triangle well. 

 --Mark Medina

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Photos: Mike Brown. Credits: Associated Press

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As for Mike Brown I'm perfectly OK with this selection. While he is not among my top choices I like his pedigree and his track record.

For pedigree I always admired Gregg Popovich and how he coached the Spurs. The Spurs have always been one of the most fundamentally sound teams. They always hustle, play smart team basketball and rarely ever beat themselves. They also stress DEFENSE which is exactly what the undisciplined and complacent Lakers needed. Coming from the Popovich's school of coaching is MUCH MUCH BETTER than from Phil Jackson's hand down.

For track record Mike Brown has been COY and has had several 60+ win season in spite of having a very mediocre team with only one Superstar LBJ.

Somebody please, please compare Brown's pedigree and proven track record to Brian Shaw and tell me with a straight face and sound mind that he still prefers Shaw.

Now I understand Jon K's doubt about Brown's offensive approach but think about it logically people. Imagine you are given a team of mediocre players in every which way and a young Magic Johnson. Now wouldn't you want to give the ball to Magic and let him direct the offense?

I love and appreciate Kobe as much as anybody but the difference between Kobe and LBJ is that one is a pure prolific scorer while the other is an all-around triple-threat player a la Magic. I'm pretty sure Mike Brown realizes the difference and is not going to give Kobe carte-blanche to run the team's offense. Sorry but Kobe, like Jordan is no PG no matter how good a player he is. Just the fact that while LBJ is still on the upside of his career while Kobe is on the downside should preclude Kobe from doing more than being a scorer.

This is why the next step should be of UTMOST importance. Once this is accomplished anything else after that will be pure gravy. That is getting a more than adequate PG.

There is no way Kobe can or should be used for running the offense the way LBJ is doing so a legitimate PG is a MUST! Lakers should thus spare no effort to get the best possible PG.

Derek Fisher and Luke Walton in publicly endorsing Shaw to be the next coach, in part because of his familiarity with their personnel.

That's the main reason to change coach's, plus both theses studs may not be back.

Hey I'm going to catch up on all the comments. Sorry it was a busy afternoon

Test test test

Mr Mark Medina

Very Nice thread, really detailed, and really interesting, you touch on so many good points, but my all time favorite one is this paragraph right here...
" The Lakers should've hired Brian Shaw. I'm not thrilled with the Lakers' decision ... scratch that ... Jim Buss' decision to hire Mike Brown as the new Lakers' coach because of all the "con" reasons I highlight in this item I posted earlier. It's clear that the Lakers wanted to move in a new direction away from Phil Jackson's leadership, but it's quite striking that an early playoff exit suddenly ruined Shaw's chances. Although the Lakers never had any formalized agreement of any sort, it had always been presumed that Shaw would have succeeded Jackson because of his long familiarity with the triangle and his strong relationship with the players. Instead, the Lakers suddenly are going in a completely different direction. "

once again good job MM for a nice thread that you can enjoy that has great points!!

"... The reason the triangle didn't work this past season was because the Lakers didn't run it properly."

Where have I heard THAT before? whenever the Lakers failed it was ALWAYS because for some "mystical" reasons veteran players who have had proven success with the Triangle and who can run it in their sleep SUDDENLY unwilling or unable to run it.

Of course it was never because the system simply doesn't work if the superstar on the team be it Kobe or Shaq or Pau... has a bad day or stretch and just couldn't overwhelm their defender 1-on-1.

Or because the opposing coach staff has found a way to exploit the triangle's predictability and severely disrupt its passing lanes.

The Lakers should AUTOMATICALLY be a better offensive team than CLE simply by the fact that there are lot more offensive talent. But then again enough about offense! What's the saying about "Defense wins championship"?

I expect the Lakers thus to be better simply by improving on a HORRIBLY SERIOUS flaw that has been their defense all the years under Jackson.

PS: I also expect to no longer having to endure the torture that is watching the Lakers defend the pick n roll. Under the Jackson/Shaw regime this team has got to be the WORST team in the NBA if not the history of the NBA in how "stoopidly" and how clueless they always defended the pick n roll. That alone is worth picking Brown over Shaw!

Do you folks know what it feels like to see a train wreck in slow-mo? yep, that's what happened everytimes I watched the Lakers tried, and I emphasized tried to defend the pick n roll. Would be so comical if not such a sad sight!

You know it was coming a mile a way and you can see it in your mind how it's going to turn out yet there is just no way to stop or alter it from happening.

The LA Lakers vs. the pick n roll. Indeed a train-wreck every single time!

Tech N9ne - Thanks for the love. I'm very curious to see how this all turns out

Here's what Big Z and Mo Williams said immediately after Coach Brown was fired...almost exactly one year ago.

I think we're gonna be alright with Mike Brown.

The question I want answered is, what do we do with Pau Gasol? What we saw in these playoffs was a guy who had no fight in him. It was absolutely unbelievable for such an accomplished basketball player. Who knows what happpened with Kobe's wife and Pau, but it's going to be up to Laker management to solve this issue by getting rid of one of them, and you know that's Pau.

Go Lakers!

A few thoughts on Mike Brown's hiring....

I do feel for BShaw. But his day will come and I believe he'll be successful.

We love you Kobe. We know you weren't consulted, but you said you wanted a defensive minded coach...and that's what Brown brings to the party!

Remember Brown was the "defensive coordinator" of Rick Carlisle's defensive minded Pacers teams. I believe they would've won the title in 2005 if the Malice at the Palace didn't happen.

I wonder what Ron Ron and Shannon thinks of the hiring. Ron won defensive player of the year under coach Brown in Indy. Shannon didn't get much burn under Brown in Cleveland.

I don't expect Mike Brown to have a problem with winning Kobe over or "coaching" him. Remember, Dan Gilbert was the biggest culprit in enabling Lebron in Cleveland.

So Mo Williams said after Brown you have to get a Hall of Fame coach. Is Byron Scott that sort of material? B Scott has been to the big dance twice as a coach. Brown only once. Hmmm. I don't know.

Anyway, MM, you said it's not as though management really listens to Kobe since they would have traded Bynum if they did listen to him. That might be true, however, there's a difference between player personnel and leadership of the whole team.

Kobe would be a great person to consult if you wanted to know who the slackers are on the team and who the hard workers are on the team. As a GM, I'd probably ask Kobe this periodically, and I'd ask the coaches. I'd perpetually get rid of the lazy and try to keep a group of guys that really work hard. I would not ask Kobe who should be traded and who should be acquired, although getting an unbiased opinion (if that's possible) might be helpful.

Hiring a coach is a completely different ball of wax. This is THE guy that Kobe will be making phone calls to throughout the week discussing practice, discussing game adjustments, and basketball philosophy.

I know you don't read about it, but I'd bet a bunch of money that Kobe does this. I did it as an athlete, and it's a HUGE advantage to have the coaches ear and have that constant communication about the team and the team's direction. It really allows the leader/athlete to excel in every way. Like someone said, if Kobe is on board, the rest of the team will follow. You have no idea how true this can be, but the main player must have a full understanding of the direction of the team.

This is why getting Kobe's input and running ideas by him about who the coach will be is probably a good idea. You want to create this dynamic between your top player (or even top players) and the coach.

To make up for the lack of communication thus far, I would highly highly recommend that coach Brown give Kobe a call the second the ink is dry on the contract.

It would go something like this....
KB: "Uh, Hello..."
CB: "Hello Kobe. This is Coach Brown. I'm looking forward to working with you this season, and along those lines, I'm calling to let you know, it's time to get to work..."
and the conversation proceeds with some of Browns ideas and getting ideas from Kobe.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kobe is the first to call though. He's not one to let his destiny lie in someone else's hands.

Mike Brown is out of the blue to me. I really can't say bad or good. I guess Shaw was knocked out because of the results this year, but to assume as a head coach that he would not shake things up and maybe even change systems seems a big assumption. He is a totally different guy from Phil. I have taken over jobs from prior leaders I respected, and still done things my own way once I had the job. Shaw would not have been PJ version 2.0.

Luke is done in the NBA if Phil didn't use him this year. But I would note that his asset is not that he understands the Triangle. It is that he understands offensive spacing and flow in general. He displayed the skill at Arizona before learning the triangle. I am sure that he will any new system quickly, but his athletic limitations will still prevent him from getting minutes.

I think Luke's biggest contributions will be as a player/coach. Give Luke assignments during games, or before games, such as scouting, etc. He's done as a player, but he might have some value in the battle.

I'm unhappy that it won't be Shaw.

Pau Gasol is about to be traded.

Devon Ebanks & Derrick Character will get playing time.

20% chance some wild trade happens which ships out
Artest & Luke Walton for garbage.

Wow. The Lakers were (I fervently hope I can use are) a Mighty franchise. One could argue the primere sports franchise of North America in the last 50 years. No other franchise can come close to an almost 50% finals appreance rate. You can take 12 all-time Lakers and they could quite possibly beat a team of all time greats from other franchises.

But nothing can fell a mighty franchise faster than bad ownership. I am SHOCKED and dismayed by this decision. What is Jim trying to say to the players and fans, I am the boss, you do not matter? Hey Jim you WORK with Kobe or everyone suffers. So you got a coach that will do what you want, you really showed the players. Wow what A BIG MAN you are Jim.

With this decision Jim shows he is a spoiled brat that quite possibly, almost unimaginably might bring down the mighty Lakers. Breaks my heart. I literally grew up with the Lakers. Saw my first game at 6 in 71-72 when they won the championship. Lived in a small apartment off Jefferson near Playa Del Rey (certainly not in Playa) and the Forum was a 10-15 minute drive.

Chick Hearn was like a favorite uncle. I LOVE the Lakers. Not an exaggeration. And I always thought Mike Brown had no coaching ability whatsoever. I know he won coach of the year. Big deal. I never saw the Cavs run a play. I never saw them run a play. And how did handling a big personality like LeBrat go over in Cleveland? Yeah a disaster.

All I can think is Jim Buss only criteria for this decision was I am going to show you. It is so sad I can't even stomach it. A spoiled brat did this to the Lakers so he can go nah nah nah to Phil and Kobe. Breaks my heart. Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. It would have been better if you had just handed the keys to the Lakers to some random person on the Venice boardwalk....much...much better. BTW I feel like nobody (can't get the darn program to work). So the name they assigned was appropriate. Fans who have horrible owners, this is how they feel. First the Dodgers now the Lakers. I weep for SoCals magnificent fans (Dodgers 3 mil a year except this year), Laker fans of all ethnicites and income levels brought together year after year. We deserve so much better than Parking Lot attendant and Spoiled Brat.

i like this signing, mike brown is a young, experienced head coach. i have read that he is defensive minded, which can only improve the lakers. he has already coached the most arrogant athlete, lechoke, and he has been successful. he should fit right in with the lakers.

"...but it'd be way too presumptuous to think Brown will automatically have more success on the offensive end with the Lakers simply because of their talent."

Wow, Medina, that has to be one of the more ridiculous comments you've ever offered. The Cavaliers had exactly one player who could ever get the team 20+ points in a game. In other words, the Cavs had absolutely awful talent on the offensive side of the ball. You don't think THAT had anything to do with Brown's lack of success offensively, and you don't think that going from one 20+ point guy to at least three (or four, with Odom, and five given Artest's ability to occasionally have a good game outside of the triangle) would lead Brown to have more success? Surely that comment was written in haste....

The Lakers had two realistic options: go for the best available offensive coach, ore the best available defensive coach. They went with the latter. Given their offensive talent, I think that was the right move, because defense is where this group needs to be coached. I know you wanted Shaw, but that was always the riskiest move. No prior HC experience; chummy relationship with the players; membership in the past coaching regime which just wrapped up a season in which the players totally underachieved; and no record of success as either an offensive or defensive coach.

Leo Goose - How is that a ridiculous opinion? I'm not saying the Lakers offense will be worse. But to just assume you can roll the ball out on offense and think everything will work out just doesn't work. They need offensive chemistry

Tim-4-Show - That's a good point. I think the Lakers do have those kind of conversations. But I think it's different about getting information than truly listening to what a player would want to be traded.

Mark, it is ridiculous to think that is presumptuous to think Brown won't have more success on offense after going from a team with one all-star in the starting lineup to one with three all-stars in the starting lineup, plus the 6th man of the year off the bench.

Talent dictates success on offense even more than it does on defense (where excellent effort can overcome lesser talent--see, e.g., Chicago). Brown's teams in Cleveland were offensively challenged in large part because the team had nobody on the floor who could be a threat aside from Lebron. It's tough to scheme your way around a lack of talent on offense, but easier to do so on defense, where his coaching ability (and Cleveland's success) were evident.

Not saying he's an offensive genius by any measure, but the Lakers did not lose to Dallas, drop two games against New Orleans, or lose 5 straight to close the season because of bad offense. No more than they won 17 of 18 after the break because of good offense. This team will go as far as their defense takes them, which is something Kobe Bryant repeatedly said, and something the Laker brain trust obviously believes (otherwise, we'd be discussing the merits of one Rick Adelman).

@Cyber – read your article on Brown’s hiring and you can probably guest my response. I agree with that Brown is a good hire, but disagree about Lebron’s failure to deliver in the clutch for Cleveland. He was very good in the majority of late game situations for the Cavs in the playoffs. One day when you have a little time on your hand you should review Lebron’s late game playoff performances. I think you’ll find that other than two series (07 Spurs and 10 Boston) he’s done very well in late game situations.

@PFunk – Glad to see you’re on board with coach Brown’s hiring. And since the Lakers have a new coach I’m just wondering how long you’ll continue to post Jackson – Kobe/MJ = Rambis?

@MM – When Mo Williams said he enthusiastically endorsed Mike Brown, you minimized his approval by saying what else is Mo Williams supposed to say. He could have easily gave a neutral or lukewarm response. The fact of the matter is Mo was very vocal in chastising the Cavs organization last year when they fired coach Brown. Keep in mind that Mo Williams also played under Jerry Sloan. So I assume he knows what a good coach looks like.

@Tim-4-Show – I would expect coach Brown to pay Kobe a in-person visit…like pronto!

@Larry Diamond – Did you see Cleveland with an effective defense under Brown?

After Jim Buss read that the Priest endorsed Coach Brown he quickly pulled the trigger. Leo Goose do not expect objective commentary from Medina but just someone who panders or throws red meat to the faithful. Coach brown with his cavs team marched into staples centre on christmas day 2 years ago and caused kobe and his boys to get pelted by foam fingers, cups of beer and soda pop. Brown is a defensive coach but he can always hire an offensive coordinator. Think lovie smith of the chicago bears. Doc Rivers hired tom tib to run his defense until he got the chicago gig.

Shaw is Phil disciple and obviously Phil is played out. So you guys want Shaw ala Phil to just sit on the bench without calling timely timeouts, keeping a 50 year old fisher as starting point guard, letting kobe does as he feels and run a played out easy to figure 30 year old offensive scheme and yall will be happy? Wow!! Buss really suppose to listen to people that makes no sense and just rant. That is just stupid man. I told yall that ownership was not happy with the mamba. Kobe was totally out of control over the last year. They didn't even consult him and that was excellent. Jim Buss I am starting to like you more and more. Way to show leadership big guy.

I find it amusing how some fans are dead set against Mike Brown becoming our next head coach. While Brown was not on my prospective coaches radar, I think it may be a great move. Think about it. Rumors claimed Jerry and Jim Buss wanted to dump the Triangle and bring back Showtime. If that were true, they would have hired a run-and-gun offensive guru as head coach. A Mike Dantoni. That they went out and hired a defensive oriented coach tells you that they really just want to win.

Give Jerry and Jim Buss credit. They know that defense wins championships. That’s why they went out and hired Mike Brown and not Rick Adelman. They also know that the current coaching staff and system have run their course with this group of players. That’s why they hired Mike Brown and not Brian Shaw. Finally, they know to take advantage of their superior height and length, they need to get the ball inside to their big men. That’s why they didn’t discuss their decision with Kobe Bryant.

I’m also amused at how some bloggers have already characterized Jim Buss as the wise owner’s bungling son out to make his own legend at the cost of our beloved Lakers. I have a hunch hiring Mike Brown could turn out to be another stroke of genius by Jim Buss like drafting and not trading Andrew Bynum. I might understand all the ridicule and doubt if Jim were out there making a fool of himself but ironically he seems to prefer to stay in the background even more than his father.

Now that Mike Brown is coming in, the next big move the Lakers need to make is to trade for a point guard to replace Derek Fisher in the starting lineup. I would definitely explore trading Pau Gasol for Chris Paul or Deron Williams or trading Lamar Odom for Raymond Felton. All three do a great job getting the ball inside to their big men, hitting 3-point shots, and playing tough physical defense.

So how did Mike Brown wow Jim Buss in the interview?

Jim Buss: What would you do differently if hired?

Brown: Make Bynum the focal part of the offense and defense.

Jim Buss: Interesting. When do you see that transition taking place? In 2013?

Brown: Tomorrow. I’m having a sit down with Kobe to tell him as of now Bynum eats first, second and third.

Jim Buss: What’s your thoughts on Phil?

Brown: A very good coach. A true Hall of Famer, but you know my teams usually spanked him. You saw what I did with just Lebron. Imagine what I’ll accomplish with a great franchise like the Lakers.

Jim Buss: Any other thoughts?

Brown: Did I tell you how much I like Bynum? Drafting him was pure brilliance.

Wow. The world hasn't ended. The Lakers are not now scrubs, they have not morphed into the Clippers. Jim Buss is not Donald Sterling. Last I checked, they still play in L.A., still wear purple and gold and are still the premiere franchise in all of basketball and a desired destination for probably every player that plays the game.

The one other move that Jim Buss was widely associated with, drafting the youngest player ever drafted, turned out to be a spectacular success. That's it. How can we say the franchise is ruined and Jim Buss is a bum? Granted, we have been spoiled by the greatest owner in all of pro sports, so Jim will fight a losing battle trying to recreate the success daddy Jerry had.

Consider if the New Orleans Jazz hadn't signed an aging free agent Gail Goodrich in '76 and thus surrendered their '79 first round pick - which after their move to Utah became the top-overall AFTER the Lakers won a coin toss with versus the Bulls (so THATS how stumpy got his number retired - thanks man!).

Consider if they hadn't won ANOTHER coin toss versus the San Diego Clippers three years later.

Consider if Jack McKinney hadn't suffered a bad bike accident, shooing in Paul Westhead - who was over tossed out midway through the next season and having Chick Hearn prod young Pat Riley to come out of the broadcast booth and take over as head coach.

So, it's not like papa-Jerry totally orchestrated what happened during the Showtime days. In fact, it was another Jerry, Jerry West, who masterminded and orchestrated the brilliant trade with the Hornets for another young players rights, and coupled that with signing the greatest free-agent acquisition of all time in the summer of '96.

I'm not in any way detracting from Jerry Buss. He is hands-down the finest owner in all of professional sports, bar none. But, much like a hand in poker, you gotta get lucky. The Laker franchise has had a lot of luck shine down on them during the Buss era. Imagine if they lose those coin tosses, Jack McKinney doesn't get into a bike accident, Shaq re-signed with the Magic, the Nets select Kobe Bryant ahead of the Hornets instead of Kerry Kittles (a move John Calipari pushed for because Kittles was older and his job was on the line).

Jim Buss is batting a thousand so far. He deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I am mostly disappointed for Brian Shaw, a very decent human being and close friend to many on the team. I hope he stays with the team, but just can't see that happening now.

The train wreck manner the season ended called out for a drastic change of direction, not the passing of the baton we all envisioned. Shaw probably was leaning to retaining the triangle, I would imagine that to be the biggest red-flag from promoting him.

Mike Brown is young, charismatic, talented defensive coach and he's been through some battles including taking a less talented team than this bunch all the way to the NBA Finals.

Let's cut him some slack. Jimmy too. Jerry Buss will not live forever, hopefully Jim can channel some of pops savvy - and luck.

- - -

LRob: Thanks for the read/feedback. LeBron had some impressive games, including that tremendous effort against the Pistons in '07 I believe. However, every close game against the Magic they petered out (except that 3-pt banker as time expired), he literally crumbled in game 5 vs the C's last year (which was a couple days after his 'coronation' MVP event in Akron) and game 6 he was no better.

Kobe has been in a rut on the end-of-game shots of late, but LeBron seemed to be on a different planet than his teammates at the end of some games.

Anyways, I was just making the point that with Kobe instead of LeBron, Brown will have those end of game situations in better hands. Clearly so.


If anyone else is reading the article:

When Kobe in his exit interview stated that he eats first, then pau and drew have to accept that both Jerry and Jim cringed. That is not good basketball. Kobe as talented as he is, is just an employee and you can't let an employee dicatate the direction of the team. It will be dsyfunctional for that to happen. Only people like mud, hobbit, psp, medina etc. were pleased with kobe's eat first philosiphy.Laker tom you are right on with your take on this matter.

Island Priest - I never said Kobe was right with the eat first philosophy. I agree that he's a better offensive threat. But I thought for much of the postseason, the Lakers did not get Bynum the ball enough inside

@LROB … ROFLMAO. That would have been a damn good interview strategy. LOL! Ironically, I think one benefit of hiring Brown is that it will ensure that Drew keeps his focus on defense and rebounding although I think he will get a lot more touches on offense. Even if we keep Pau or trade him or Lamar for an elite point guard, shot ops will be scarce and should go to the player who is hot or has the most advantageous matchup. That’s the only pecking order that should be used.
@CCX … Excellent defense of Jim Buss. I also feel sorry for Brian but I have a hunch he might get the Warriors job being from Oakland. Sean Deveney also commented in an interview that he thought Brown might retain Chuck Person since they were together in Indiana. I like the idea of Brown and Person working on our defense. Brown should be able to really help Artest too since we was on the staff when Ron won his DPOY. Now we just need to get an upgrade at point guard for Derek.

[This is Jon K. by the way.]

Okay, guys, I'm going to lay this down...

You guys know me.

As the eldest continuous blogger here, I've been here since the first week, and I ain't planning on going nowhere.

During this long psyber-arc of virtual Lakeraholicism, many of you know that I spent nearly four years interned in the sloggy gray north of the the now recently-decimated-by-tornados-Ohio.

I can safely say with confidence that I've watched more Cavs games than anyone on this blog, including our blog-lord Mark Medina. All of these games coached by Mike Brown.

I've also had more discussions/arguments/hands-clasped-around-each-others'-throats-screamfests-in-the-snow with Cavalunatics than anyone else on this blog, many of which have been about Mike Brow, some with people who have met Mike Brown personally.

Here's the thing...

1. Mike Brown is a stand up guy. A person of solid character. A good guy.

2. Mike Brown isn't a solid coach. He's a guy who EMPHASIZES THE IMPORTANTANCE OF DEFENSE, but kind of like a cheerleader. He's not really and X's and O's kind of guy.

3. Mike Brown doesn't run an offense. He doesn't. LeBron James ran the offense when Mike Brown was coach. Mike Brown is not the guy who to put together a last second play for the game winning shot.

4. Does anyone remember that we have a guy named Kobe Bryant on our team? A guy who is four times more competitive than LeBron James? There is no fricken way that Kobe Bryant is going to just lay down in front of Mike BROWN. Read my lips: NO... FRICKEN... WAY!

5. What does this mean? Kobe Bryant just became the de facto coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

6. What does Kobe Bryant becoming the de facto coach of the Los Angeles Lakers mean? a) Him taking too many shots.... WAY too many shots. b) It could be fine as long as everyone is on board. Not going to happen with Vanessa Bryant running around the locker room spreading rumors. c) Probably major conflict 2/3 of the way through the season.

So there you have it.

Fricken great. Fricken-frucken great.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Frankly, if the worst that can be said of Mike Brown is that Kobe Bryant isn't going to listen to him, I think the Lakers did fine. Kobe was unlikely to listen to anyone coming in as coach (yes, including Brian Shaw) because Kobe is not only an egomaniac, but an egomaniac with more rings than anybody who was going to assume the head coaching position.

If Brown can inspire the Laker supporting cast to play as hard as he did the Cavs supporting cast, the Lakers will win the title in 2011 going away. Next year isn't about Kobe (just like this year wasn't about him). The Lakers will win or lose depending on how guys like Pau, Lamar and Andrew play, and if Brown can do for them what he did for the likes of Varejao et al, we'll be fine.

Medina sometimes you go close to the line in your analysis but seems afraid to criticise. I don't expect you to be as critical as the priest....Listen i love Shaw and ordinarily I would love for Shaw to get his shot. Just like you guys. It was the Shaw-Shaq redemption that resulted in 3 rings. Shaw is one of the guys that me as a laker fan I always wanted to see do well. The other guys are rambis, cooper, mychal thompson, ron harper, robert horry, rick fox etc. I liked Shaw from he played with the heat. But it boils down to discipline and control. This all centers around the mamba. Kobe is our best offensive weapon but he went hay wire. If Buss did hire Shaw it would have further empower Kobe. Yall remember psychology 101, you reinforce positive behavior and you punish or dissuade negative behavior.

Yall just watch Coach Brown interview? I see why he was hired. Coach Brown creed:
1) Defense
2) Hard working team
3) Team first (not kobe eat first)

Excellent, if he does that LA will get back to the promise land.

Dear Kobster B: you may as well demand a trade right now because the Lake Show just hired the lamest coach with the lowest IQ ever to coach in the NBA - Why not Coach B Shaw instead of numbnuts Coach Charlie Brown???


Weasel - a Die Hard Lake Show Fan

Oh I missed that he will foster a family atmosphere.

Huh? I get that the Lakers want a good defensive coach. The problem I have is that I agree with the saying "The Lakers play good defense when they play good offense." Too often this season jacking up shots, turnovers, over dribbling, etc led to fast breaks the other way, and the Lakers are poor at transition defense due to the type of players they have, something no amount of defensive coaching can fix. The Lakers weren't losing games like the Knicks were, with 112-121 type of scores, but rather games where they were scoring 16 points a quarter. 

That's why I'm puzzled over the Lakers passing over Adelman, who knows how to run a good offense. Maybe LeBron made Mike Brown look bad on offense. But why would you take that risk?

Well, if Mike Brown can pull it off, at least it'll make clear that the failure of the LeBron era with the Cavs was because of LeBron, and that Mike Brown unfairly got the blame.

Nice rebuttal by Cavs blogger ESPN/ProBasketballTalk contributor Jon Krolik to some of the common concerns re Brown [ ].

Krolik was a "witness" to everything Bron & Brown. If anyone knows the appeal/unappeal of Brown, it's Krolik.

Thought his take was fair, helpful & informative.

Wow. Henry Abbott goes one better [ ]

Abbott;s dispassionate, outsider perspective is less counterweight, more complementary, to Krolik the insider.



Myth: [Brown] has never won a ring.

This is technically incorrect -- he got one as an assistant coach in San Antonio in 2003.

Nitpicking aside, rings are a dumb way to measure talent. Every decade, thirty teams play, and they each have a coach. That's 300 seasons of coaching. Are you telling me that, out of those 300 years, only ten seasons were really good? Do we know that Tom Thibodeau, George Karl and Gregg Popovich were lacking this season?

The truth of the matter is that you can coach essentially perfectly and not win a title -- the title does more than select the best. It selects the best who are also lucky.

Mike Brown had five seasons as the Cavaliers' head coach. He had poorly constructed one-star rosters every single year, and still managed a 42-29 record in the playoffs and a trip to the Finals.

Over the same period, Gregg Popovich's Spurs have been 37-28 in the playoffs, with one Finals appearance and a title.

Phil Jackson is in a class by himself of course, and has won two titles and another conference championship over those same years. But even he has managed only a mildly better playoff record than Brown, at 50-29 compared to 42-29.

Entirely unfair, but worth noting: When Jackson coached a "superstar and a bunch of scrubs" roster like Brown had in Cleveland, the Lakers lost in the first round both times.

Myth: [Brown] coaches a terrible offense.

In 2009-2010, the Cavaliers had the sixth-best offense. Take it away, Cavs: The Blog's John Krolik, talking to Land O' Lakers, who has watched an insane amount of Mike Brown ball:

"They had a better offensive efficiency mark than the Lakers did in '09-'10, and finished one tenth of a point per 100 possessions in '08-'09. Brown developed a reputation as a bad offensive coach when his starting backcourt was Eric Snow and Larry Hughes. "

Show me a coach who can run a good offense with that backcourt, and I'll show you a miracle worker.


Abbott isn't god, hardly infallible.

However, his reasoned albeit brief defense on 2 counts: rings & offense -- has cred. Snow? Hughes? Mo Williams (as playmaker)?

Unfortunately, barring trades, Brown'll have the same ball & chain in Fish, especially at his age.


Why was the comment on Krolik deleted?

It wasn't spam.

It doesn't violate the terms or conditions for posting.

I was NEVER censored by the K Bros.

Medina is obviously "different."

Oh never mind.

BIG apologies to Mark Medina.

Me dolt.

Me forgot to refresh.


As a fellow Torero, I applaud the choice of Brown. He was a classmate of my sister. So, its a cool thing given the recent not so good USD basketball news.

But as a diehard Laker fan, I am mixed. I agree with LakerTom that the team probably used up all their chips with the current coaching staff. So, new blood is good.

I just hope he can deal with the egos, Artest sensitivities, reality TV and hollywood drama. That can be overwhelming for any coach let alone from a small market like Cleveland.

As for coaching style, I agree with other comments about Brown's lack of adjustments. But we can certainly use a defensive mindset and somebody who can focus on our strengths. Hopefully Kobe gets on board quickly because it does appear there is a tide that is turning.

Cheers all!

Pysched Laker Girl

What a HORRIBLE move by the Lakers! Brown couldn't win the title with the BEST player in the league with LeBron James, what makes the Buss family think he can win with KOBE?!!! Here's what Brown is good at - ride a superstar to let him carry the team throughout the regular season. You'll get a good record and home-court advantage in the playoffs. Only problem? That style DOES NOT WORK in the playoffs! In the post-season, you need a clever coach that can make adjustments and outcoach the opponent. Mike Brown CANNOT do that! That's why he never won a title with the best player in the game. The opponents just shut down the superstar and Brown can't make adjustments where his other guys are making plays. He NEVER makes the opponent pay for double or triple teaming, can never figure out what the other team is doing, is just plain HORRIBLE in the post-season. Supposedly he's a "defensive expert" but that didn't stop Doc Rivers from DESTROYING him or Stan Van Gundy for that matter. Not to mention his old boss Pop who SCHOOLED him in a sweep! This move is worse than when we hired Rudy T. to coach us. Look what happened there. Brown couldn't control LeBron, you think he can control Kobe?!! Kobe is INFINITELY more uncoachable, even Phil Jackson said it! Lakers, you screwed up our team AGAIN! Fire Brown and hire a REAL coach!!!



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