Minnesota's coaching search is vastly different from the Lakers'
Usually, the Lakers serve as a model franchise for conducting business operations.
They've proved that with their 16 NBA championships and willingness to spend money on players. They've shown that with their tight-lipped approach toward trade rumors. And they've demonstrated that with their obsession with never feeling satisfied with less than an NBA title.
Usually, the Minnesota Timberwolves serve as their perfect foil on what not to do.
They are perennial losers. General Manager David Kahn appears obsessive about leaking trade rumors. And he handled the firing of Kurt Rambis in the worst way possible by dragging out the process and delivering conflicting statements on Rambis' status.
But in this case, the world has flipped upside down. Regardless of whether you think the Lakers made the correct choice in hiring Mike Brown, they handled it pretty poorly by failing to consult with Kobe Bryant, whose relationship with the head coach will significantly determine how successful the new staff becomes. The Timberwolves, meanwhile, are involving UCLA product and NBA All-Star Kevin Love in their coaching search.
"I have definitely been asked by David Kahn what I thought about the situation, and I gave my two cents," Love told The Big Lead. "I told them I think we need a coach to help us grow and win in tough situations and learn how to win. A guy who is going to be able to work with young guys and go through the growing pains to help us become a better team. There were a few names thrown out to me prior to the interview process, and they’ve all interviewed so far."
That surely juxtaposes how the Lakers handled the coaching search with Bryant, who had made it clear he wouldn't interfere with the process but would have been glad to give feedback, including endorsing Brian Shaw. Instead the Lakers didn't notify Bryant about the hire firsthand, leading him to refuse to comment on the hire publicly and cause Jim Buss to backtrack after the fact to The Times' T.J. Simers that the organization made a mistake. The Times' Mark Heisler since then has said Bryant likes Brown's ideas and remains silent only because of his frustration with the front office. But it's sad that things have appeared so grim this off-season that the Timberwolves are handling one thing better than the Lakers, no matter how remotely small and isolated.
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Photo: Minnesota forward Kevin Love reportedly said he's been consulted about the team's coaching search. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times Friday, March 19, 2010