Culture of Hoops

Los Angeles Lakers front office makes basketball minds go, “Hmmm”

Recently fired Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown didn't benefit from having a fully healthy roster, so perhaps his firing was hasty

Last Friday was an interesting day. The disgraceful display put on by that Los Angeles Lakers front office has me shaking my head more than anybody has ever shook their head before. Mike Brown’s dismissal was just a blatant showing off of how socially inadequate these executives are/can be. Sure the Lakers currently (keyword) aren’t performing to expectations, but did the NBA season get shortened again? To my knowledge, NBA fans are to enjoy a regularly scheduled season: an 82-game regular season followed by a never uneventful NBA postseason.

With only a mere five games under their belts, Mike Brown and the Lakers showed very few signs of forward progression. The pick-and-roll guru that is Steve Nash, currently finds himself sidelined with an injury and has only participated in what’s been calculated (and rounded down) to be about a game and a half, while Dwight Howard seems to be having problems with not only his free throw shooting (still) but also his place, his role, within the squad; add the fact that Dwight is reportedly being harassed by an old injury.

Mike Brown had been coaching with hardly anything in its right place.

I flashback to the day Mike Brown agreed to become the new head coach of Kobe Bryant’s Lakers. I thought the decision to hire Brown was just as ignorant as this decision to dismiss him. What Brown did in Cleveland can only slightly be attributed to what he is as a coach. I don’t need to mention who was on that Cavaliers team and I won’t discuss the this-and-that of the argument. Simply stated, LeBron James was insane while with Cleveland. His relationship with Mike Brown, not to mention their final NBA postseason run as representatives of the Cleveland Cavaliers, ended poorly. Brown was fired. The rest, as they say, is history. LeBron purchased two one-way tickets for he and his ‘talents’ and headed to South Beach.

When the Lakers decided to officially make Mike Brown the coach to fill Phil’s championship loafers, I pondered:

1) Do the Lakers executives know who they’re replacing? Many would say that Phil is irreplaceable. If the Lakers want to put a pawn in the head coach’s seat only to eventually be ignored and angrily stared down by Kobe and thus disrespected by most of the team, why hire an expensive coach with credentials? Save the money, because in the end, said pricey pawn, the one who failed to grab the undivided attention of Bryant and company, will sadly have to see his way out of the locker room… permanently.

2)Why Mike Brown? Because he’s a proven “give the ball to your best player” kind of coach? What NBA street -cred did Brown possess prior to The Coming of The King?

Brown deserved more than five games. Around the 10-12 games played mark is when the execs can start analyzing the what’s-good-and-what’s-terrible about their respective teams’ overall production. The Lakers organization basically had this to say to myself, Lebron James, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle (Mike Brown was an assistant under Carlisle once-upon-a-time), Mavs owner Mark Cuban, and many many others who deem Brown’s firing abrupt, below the belt, and undeserved:  “We didn’t want to wait and see if things were going to get better, because we didn’t think they would get better.”


Reportedly Phil Jackson was up for a challenge and ready to take on the responsibility of anchoring an NBA team. [Phil stepped down due to his being a physically battered, old graybeard. Consider that a subtle abbreviation.] Perhaps the Lakers knew about this and decided, as they have done before, to act in a jiffy. Quickly dismiss the current out-of-favor pawn and prepare for the return of The Zen. However, there were other options – former Phoenix Suns/New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, former Lakers player/assistant coach and current Indian Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw, and Jeff Van Gundy – to name a few good men, and in the end, the Lakers decided on Mike D’Antoni… yet another Phil Jackson “replacement.” Let’s see how he does and how patient the Lakers will be with him.

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