I guess no one can really predict exactly what the Buss family was thinking or if they were even thinking at all when they hired Mike Brown as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, I had to pinch myself when i first heard the words: Lakers Head Coach Mike Brown. But they sure did find out what the rest of the world already knew about Mr. Mike Brown and his talents as a head coach. And just in case you are in the minority of the rest of the world who have no clue as to exactly what Mr. Brown limitations are as to the head coaching position, here’s a summary: No clue on how to run an offense and have no idea how to mange Stars.
Why Mike Brown failed miserably with the Lakers
There is no questioning that Mike Brown is a brilliant defensive minded coach, and why not, he is a student of the great head coach – Gregg Popovich. But unlike Popovich, Brown is an average head coach at best and he also lacks the Gregg Popovich talent of managing big ego’s and bring out the best on whatever talent he had on the roster.
From his days in Cleveland – it was obvious Mike Brown never had any control of the locker room as he let his players run free with little or no structure on and of the court, i guess you might say that: the inmates were running the asylum. And on the court while his Cleveland Cavaliers team were a pretty good defensive team, his complete offensive game plan was as simple as they come: give the ball to LeBron James and let him make something happen.
|Can Kobe, Dwight and Nash super team win the west?|
That offensive plan was carried over to the Los Angeles Lakers as last season he brought in his very sophisticated offensive as he replaced LeBron James with Kobe Bryant as the center piece of this genius offensive scheme. This led to Kobe Bryant taking the more shots than any other player in the NBA and for most of the season led the league in scoring and was one game away from winning a scoring title. And just like he did in Cleveland, his Los Angeles Lakers team were promptly eliminated from the playoffs as the team was too “One Player Centric” and if history is any indicator of things to come, we should have learn no one man show team has ever won the NBA championship. Not even the greatest of all-time in Michael Jordan was able to pull it off in the 80′s against the Bad Boy Pistons and Kobe Bryant is no different as he could not will this team passed a ferocious and well balanced attack of the big three of the Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
The Lakers setting Mike Brown up to fail
Mike Browns offensive scheme is simple, have the team best player run the offense and let everyone else run around and try to get open through screens and multiple ball movement. To his credit this simple scheme did work to perfection in his years in Cleveland, after all he did get to the NBA finals and also registered multiple winning seasons with 60 plus games and was also named coach of the year.
Well that simple offensive scheme was shattered when the Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mtch Kupchak went out in the offseason and acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Or as Mike Brown would have thought it: too much offensive options for my brilliant one man offensive scheme.
His inability to coach offense was glaring throughout the pre-season of which the Lakers went 0-8 and he was even worse in the five games played in the regular season so far. Mike Brown could not figure out how to utilize a team with more than one center piece with the addition of the best big man in the NBA in Dwight Howard and one of the NBA’s all-time best point guard in Steve Nash.
After a season and five games the Lakers organization felt they had seen enough and handed Mike Brown his walking papers. Many consider this move an overreaction and call it unfair to Mike Brown. Unfair to him? OK, I’d agree with that, he has been coaching without the center pieces of his his new team as his point guard in Steve Nash as been sidelined and his big man Dwight Howard is playing as half speed as he recovers from back surgery.
But an overreaction? Nah, this was the appropriate react to the mediocrity he was showcasing on the court thus far in this young season.
Mike Brown knew the deal when he took this job. This was a team built around an aging superstar in Kobe Bryant playing in his 17th season and hence he knew he needed to win now – before the curtain came down on career of one the Greatest Laker of all-time. The Lakers can’t afford to waste months while he (Brown) figures out how to run an offense with four all-stars on his roster.
I would have agreed with the folks who believed he needed more time to work things out if the Lakers were at least playing good basketball on court. These Los Angeles Lakers team are by far the worst team in the NBA. They are playing by far the ugliest basketball of any team in the NBA today and this is on both the offensive and on defensive end of the court. I never thought I will get to use the words ‘worse team’ and the Lakers in the same sentence in my life time, especially since the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Bobcats still exist. Yet, here we are using the words with the Lakers. Someone had to pay and you cannot fire the players so Mike Brown had to be the Fall guy for this crime that is been perpetuated right now in Stepple’s Center.
Mike Brown was wayyyyyy over his head last season trying to win games in the wide west and failing miserably, and then he only had Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to worry about. This season, he is simply out of his league, it was painfully obvious he had no idea what to do with the entire offensive arsenal on the court. Watching the Los Angeles Lakers you could tell guys didn’t know where they were supposed to be and this led to a lot of spacing issues which led to turnovers. Mike Brown was redefining the term: ugly basketball and the city and the Lakers organization where not going to have it no more. he just had to go.
While the timing of the firing is somewhat suspect, the firing itself is well justified.
Now who does the Lakers turn to – to bring this ship back to shore?