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Category: Mike Brown

What if Rick Adelman became the Lakers' head coach?

A few possibilities on how things might have unfolded had Minnesota's Rick Adelman become the Lakers' head coach

In only his first year as head coach, he's helped his players transition from the triangle offense, has overseen a promising point guard and has witnessed an all-star forward flourish.

We're not talking about Lakers Coach Mike Brown. His team remains inconsistent on running his read offense. The Lakers' point guard spot is their weakest link, and forward Pau Gasol has lacked consistency.

Instead, we're talking about Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Rick Adelman. Even though Minnesota's total offense dropped this season from 101.1 points per game to 95.11, the team's record (9-11) will easily surpass last season's win total (17). First-year point guard Ricky Rubio looks promising as a playmaker, averaging 11.4 points and 8.8 assists. Four-year all-star Kevin Love has increased his scoring average from 20.2 points per game to 24.9 and has decreased his weight from 265 pounds to 240. 

Adelman told reporters he's hardly thought about the Lakers front office passing over him and Brian Shaw in favor of Brown. But given the L.A. team's current struggles, many fans sure are. Below are a few possibilities on how things might have unfolded.

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Luke Walton needles Derek Fisher, Fisher jabs Mike Brown [Video]

Clad in sharp clothes while sitting on a stage at a recent event at Staples Center, the Lakers were quick to dish out loving jabs at one another. No one was immune from the joking, not even the team captain and the coach.

It began when Luke Walton was asked what music was on his iPod. The forward immediately named singer Adele.

"That was your first thought?" Fisher asked jokingly.

Said Walton: "I'm going in alphabetical order."

Walton then shot back at his teammate, saying that he's also been listening to Fisher's single.

"It went platinum in Bosnia, didn't it?" Barnes added.

The ensuing laughter prompted Lakers legend A.C. Green to ask Fisher to give a live performance. Fisher refused, claiming that he has a wife and children now.

"Don't forget who the captain is," Fisher said.

Lakers Coach Mike Brown was the next target.

When asked what TV shows he likes watching, Fisher interjected.

"Defensive clip No. 17, offensive clip No. 12," Fisher said.

Said Brown: "Are the film sessions that bad?"

"They're not that good, though," Barnes replied with a laugh.

The Lakers off-court chemistry is palpable. Let's see if it can translate to the hardwood when the team plays the Clippers at Staples Center on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

— Melissa Rohlin

Kobe Bryant watching Josh McRoberts: 'Wow, the game is changing'

In some ways, Lakers forward Josh McRoberts is having a difficult time adjusting to Los Angeles.

Immediately after walking into a Costco on a recent Saturday, the Indiana transplant ditched his shopping cart and fled to his car. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound power forward was intimidated by the throngs of people buzzing around in an aisle.

In other ways, McRoberts seems right at home.

Because of his love for high socks, he's drawing comparisons to former Laker Michael Cooper. Lakers announcer Bill Macdonald even called him "The white Coop" at a recent event at Staples Center.

He's also drawing comparisons to Kurt Rambis, which McRoberts said is a "good" nickname.

"At least people can say it around my grandmother and she won't get too upset," said McRoberts, who acknowledged he's been called much worse names but declined to divulge specifics.

McRoberts is averaging 3.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 19.5 minutes with the Lakers this season but perhaps is best known for his jumping ability.

McRoberts reportedly has the highest vertical leap on the team.

That stat has even given Kobe Bryant some pause.

After watching a video clip of McRoberts jamming a reverse dunk off an alley-oop from Metta World Peace against Dallas, Lakers Coach Mike Brown said that Bryant turned to the team and said, '"Wow, the game is changing.

"I've never seen a black guy throw an alley-oop to a white guy before.'"

-- Melissa Rohlin

Lakers remain unsure about team's identity

The Lakers enthusiastically enjoyed their time off, as Andrew Bynum slept in, Matt Barnes spent time with his twin sons and everyone on the team finally rested their tired legs.

But once the Lakers set foot in the team's practice facility in El Segundo on Tuesday morning, reality awaited them. The Lakers (10-8) enter Wednesday's game against the Clippers (9-5) with a three-game losing streak. They haven't scored 100 points for 11 consecutive games. And most important, the Lakers have no sense of their identity nearly a quarter of the way through a compacted 66-game season.

"The biggest thing is I'm still searching and looking on both ends of the floor," Coach Mike Brown said."I understand it's a process. The process has taken a little longer than you would hope. But this is a long-term thing for me. It's not a short-term thing."

But no one on the Lakers says he knows what the short term entails. Brown shot down any notion of making any lineup changes but said he "always has to keep that into consideration." Brown mostly lamented the team's inconsistent defense that allowed Indiana to rally Sunday from a double-digit deficit, but Bynum, Barnes and Pau Gasol alike argued the team's problems point more to their offense.

"It comes down to the little things and not just relying on our defense to win," Gasol said. "But also to do enough offensively with the weapons that we do have to win ballgames."

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Mike Brown: NBA reassesses Blake Griffin's push on Darius Morris

This will hardly cool down the animosity between the Lakers and the Clippers, but it at least brought some clarity as they prepare for the second regular-season showdown Wednesday between the two L.A. teams.

Lakers Coach Mike Brown publicly pushed for the NBA to review a non-call on Blake Griffin's push of Lakers rookie guard Darius Morris late in the first quarter of the Lakers' 102-94 loss Jan. 14 to the Clippers. Nine days later, he said the league informed him of something that assuaged his initial irritation.

"I don't know if they gave it to him or not," Brown said, "but the league said Blake should've gotten at least a technical for pushing [Morris]."

The NBA's technical foul list indicated they didn't rescind Griffin's technical. The league rulebook states though that "anyone guilty of illegal contact which occurs during a dead ball may be assessed a technical foul, if the contact is deemed to be unsportsmanlike in nature." In Blake's case, he pushed Morris while he was in the air attempting a dunk, apparently upset that he continued playing after officials gave Clippers guard Chris Paul a foul on Morris. That prompted Brown to scream angrily at the official and earn a technical foul himself while assistant coaches John Kuester and Chuck Person were  holding him back.

Brown added that the NBA rescinded Morris' technical foul in the third quarter after entering a near-fray involving several Clippers and Lakers forward Josh McRoberts, an action NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed.

"The officials are human, but they overreacted and gave the Clippers a point there," Brown said. "It was officials looking at Darius and thinking, 'He's a rookie'."

RELATED:

 Mike Brown wants NBA to review Blake Griffin's push on Darius Morris

Lakers, Clippers remain chippy with each other

Five things to take from Lakers' 102-94 loss to the Clippers

— Mark Medina

 

Five things to take away from Lakers' 98-96 loss to Indiana Pacers

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1. The Lakers suffered late-game miscues in their 98-96 loss Sunday to the Indiana Pacers. There's lot of plays that the Lakers could've executed better at the end of the game. Matt Barnes' missed three-pointer could've given the Lakers a definitive lead in the final minute. Pacers center Roy Hibbert grabbed a late-game rebound and made a shot over Andrew Bynum. Derek Fisher air-balled a floater and Bynum let the loose ball slip through his hands. Lakers Coach Mike Brown didn't call a timeout on that sequence. Kobe Bryant missed a long three-pointer that would've tied the score with 2.4 seconds left.

2. Pau Gasol is playing too much of a facilitator. Credit Gasol's versatility and ability to adapt. With Bynum an increased role in the post, Gasol has relied on his his play-making abilities and mid-range jumper to remain relevant. The former quality proved to be magnificant as Gasol dropped 10 assists, and could've had 11 if his Bynum converted off his one-timed behind-the-head pass. But his eight points on four for 12 shooting left a lot to be desired because most of them came off mid-range jumpers. It appears Gasol's losing his aggressiveness to score, while relying too heavily on his ability to facilitate. 

3. Where's the Lakers' perimeter defense? This game wouldn't be close if the Lakers defended the perimeter. The Pacers stayed in contention, thanks to a 10-of-18 mark from three-point range. That included Indiana scoring 35 points in the second quarter and going on an 18-12 run after most of the starters entered the lineup at the 6:13 mark. While the Lakers' defensive communication and help looked sharp in the paint, they remained inconsistent on closing out. 

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Lakers showing cracks in flimsy foundation

 

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Several of his players joked about Mike Brown's famously long practices. But in due time, Brown's nickname, "All Day, Every Day," could evoke more frustration than laughter.

Brown admits his bench currently lacks an identity, causing him to shuffle various combinations in hopes something will work. His approach very well could just involve a rearranging of chairs without any resolution.

Kobe Bryant has remained supportive of Brown for his work ethic and attention to detail. Yet even the consummate student of the game openly wondered after the Lakers' 98-87 loss Thursday to the Miami Heat why Brown is throwing out new plays when the team has yet to grasp the original ones.

Brown has admitted some mistakes. He's conducted too many long practices. Bryant, who played 41 minutes in a blowout to Miami, has averaged 37.9 minutes this season when Brown has hoped to play him between 33 and 35. Brown has tried out too many different rosters. It's all part of a genuine effort in hopes of maximizing the Lakers' aging roster. But the Lakers' loss to Miami may mark a turning point in whether the players truly buy into what Brown is selling.

The Lakers have embraced his defensive principles, his welcome personality and his passion for the job. But their loss to Miami shows he's been trying too hard to a fault.

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Lakers reveal Mike Brown's nickname: 'All day, every day' [Video]

During games, Lakers Coach Mike Brown is jumping, screaming and excitedly patrolling the sideline. When the team practices, his booming voice can sometimes be heard from behind closed doors.

He's involved. He's passionate. He works hard.

And he expects the same in return.

During a Lakers event at Staples Center on Tuesday, the players disclosed their nickname for Brown: "All day, everyday."

Here's how it went down.

Kapono was asked by Lakers announcer Bill Macdonald how many shots he takes a day.

Joked Kapono: "If [Brown] has us in there from 9-5, then I'll probably stay until 5:45."

"Do I keep you that long?" Brown inquired.

Kapono then told the coach his nickname.

Said Macdonald, "By the way, this will be the last appearance as a L.A. Laker for Jason Kapono, so give him a hand. There will be an empty seat on the plane tomorrow."

Derek Fisher then interjected and defended his teammate.

"I got to have Jason's back on this one," Fisher said. "It was like Day 3 when we realized that it's a new day. We're going to be in this gym all day, every day until we get it right."

Brown rides the players hard. After training camp started Dec. 9, the Lakers didn't have a day off until Dec. 28, following a stretch of three games on consecutive nights.

The only other day the Lakers have had off this season, excluding travel days, was on Jan. 12, after a back-to-back against Phoenix and Utah.

All day, every day and the Lakers will play the Heat on Thursday in Miami.

MORE:

Mike Brown admits struggles in handling compacted schedule

Teammates say Kobe Bryant is Laker with the most swagger [Video]

Mike Brown: Kobe Bryant more 'business-like' than LeBron James

— Melissa Rohlin

 

Mike Brown: Kobe Bryant more 'business-like' than LeBron James

Kobe Bryant thrives on taking over in the fourth quarter. LeBron James thrives on shrinking when that moment comes.

Bryant remains the consummate workaholic, forever finding ways to maximize his talent through injuries and a high odometer rating. James remains the life of the party, finding ways to maximize his profile through one-hour decision announcements and guaranteeing "multiple championships" at a pep rally.

Bryant continues to dazzle fans by still proving there's enough in the tank to maintain his greatness. James continues to frustrate fans still waiting for that moment to come.

Yup, Bryant and James are two completely different players. After coaching James at Cleveland and currently coaching Bryant with the Lakers, Mike Brown has kind of noticed.

"LeBron likes to have a ton of people around him all the time," Brown said Tuesday night at the "Lakers All-Access" event sponsored by the L.A. Sports and Entertainment Commission and hosted by Fox Sports West's Bill Macdonald. "It's almost like he's in high school or college. He's in college and would prefer to live in the frat house and live with 16 or 17 of his buddies. Everything he does includes all of his buddies, all the time."

And Kobe? Well, let's just say, had he gone to college, it would've been unlikely he'd pledge.

"Kobe is probably the opposite," Brown said. "He's a guy people would say, if he's in college, he's mature beyond his years. He'd go watch a movie by himself or go watch a movie with a friend or two and keep his group real small. He's more business-like than LeBron. Both of those guys are competitive and both want to win."

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Derek Fisher sounds uninterested in coaching

His teammates embrace him. His coaches respect him. And whether you appreciate his expereince and clutch shots or criticize his slowing speed, most Laker fans recognize the leadership qualities Derek Fisher brings.

That's why it's hardly a surprise the NBA.com general managers poll featured Fisher as the active player that would make the best head coach someday. What sounds surprising involves Fisher's apparant lack of interest in the profession.

"Coaching doesn't look that fun to me, to be honest," Fisher said after Tuesday's practice at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo. "They seem to stress a lot, and they spend probably more hours than we do watching film and preparing for the games and what not, so I have a lot of respect for the profession and the job that coaches do. But it's not something that I'm really looking forward to signing up to do. Especially anytime soon."

Later that night, Fisher participated in Lakers' All-Access, a $550 per plate dinner at Staples Center that featured various Laker players, A.C. Green and Mike Brown speak in a panel discussion. Fox Sports West Bill MacDonald asked all the Laker players in attendance (Fisher, Matt Barnes, Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, Josh McRoberts) what job they were work should they stop playing basketball. Fisher used that to plug his basketball camp, saying he'd love to run that full time. Even if Fisher has long maintained he wants to paly out his remaining two-year contract with the Lakers, his sudden disinterest in coaching deviates from comments he made two years ago.

But Lakers Coach Mike Brown sounds totally fine with Fisher's lack of interest.

"I think they're wrong," Brown said with a smile. "I don't think he'd make a good coach. I say that because I still want to coach and I don't want him taking my job."

After removing the tongue out of his cheek, Brown went on to say Fisher has the "right presence" to choose any career path. But there's at least one coaching candidate he doesn't have to worry about should the Lakers struggle this season.

RELATED:

Derek Fisher overcomes early-season struggles with game-winner

Derek Fisher still slowed by limited off-season workouts

Lakers largely improve point guard play

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

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