Mike Brown in the Right Place at the Wrong Time

Here is what makes Laker fans one of the most impossible to please fan bases. Our team just hired a coach with a career winning percentage of .663 and that isn’t good enough. Mike Brown isn’t a horrible hire by any means. Problem is he’s arrived in Los Angeles at the wrong time.

This is a Lakers team that is still very much capable of winning another couple of titles over the next three years. This is a team that is only minor roster tweaks away from being an unstoppable force.

This is also a team that suffered from one fatal flaw of which champions cannot suffer – a lack of motivation.

Three years from now, when it comes time to decide which direction to take this franchise, Mike Brown would be ideal. His youth and exuberance combined with a defensive mentality would be perfect for a team trying to redefine itself.

Currently, these Lakers aren’t in need of reshaping. If what happened in four games against Dallas isn’t enough to get this veteran group motivated now more so than ever then nothing will.

These Lakers needed a few stitches to close old wounds and instead Jim Buss gave them a facelift.

With Mike Brown in place there is little doubt he’ll want to bring in his own staff. Good bye continuity, hello confusion.

Kobe Bryant was caught off-guard by Brown’s hiring. That’s not a good sign.

The City of Los Angeles has mixed feelings on Brown coming into the Purple and Gold fold. That’s not a good sign.

Mike Brown had problems handling one dominant ego in Cleveland. Just how is he going to deal with Bryant, Gasol, Odom and his reality cameras, Artest and his alter ego or Bynum and his immature nature? Again, not a good sign.

Coach Brown is not a bad hire, he’s just not a good fit at this point in time.

Right about now Brian Shaw makes more sense. He’s never had to deal with the same pressures as Brown nor has he ever been in the hot seat. However, what Shaw provides is a profound understanding of what makes this team tick.

In Cleveland Brown had a young roster that he could mold into whatever shape he so desired. More often than not that simply meant putting the rock in LeBron’s hands and letting the rest take care of itself. In Los Angeles that won’t be the case.

Brown is going to have to find some way to get the most out of a team that had effectively tuned out Phil Jackson. Good luck with all of that.

Where B-Shaw would have the advantage is in his ability to simply get out of the way. If KB24 is healthy next season is there any doubt he’ll be the one running most of the practices?

This team knows Shaw. They know he’ll be on the hot seat. They also know and respect Shaw because he’s been there and has had success on both sides of the fence as a player and coach respectively. There is no way the men in his locker room would allow him to be the fall guy. If the team struggles under Shaw, the players take the heat for their guy.

Not so sure that is the case with Brown.

Under these current expectations, Brown’s neck is on the line. None of the roster knows him. As of now, aside from a few folks named Buss or Kupchack, nobody in L.A. has Brown’s back. He’s got to earn the trust of a veteran roster and the faith of a demanding city.

Simply put, Mike Brown is in the right place but at the wrong time.

At this time winning titles is all that is expected. While there is no coaching candidate that guarantees another banner there is certainly a better way to go about maintaining the high expectations that abound in Laker Land.

Brown is going to have to start from scratch. How long will it take him to learn this roster? The answer is too long when compared to Shaw.

Shaw isn’t qualified from a resume standpoint. No doubt about that. But from a been there done that perspective he’s got Brown beat worse than the Lakers in Dallas.

Right now what this team needs is a voice of reason not a voice of revision. Brown might be a great hoops mind but X’s and O’s aren’t what sent the Lakers home before the calendar flipped to June.

What makes Phil’s teachings so empowering is that he places responsibility on the individual. Each man in the Laker locker room was given enough freedom to be in control of the team’s destiny. Some have mocked PJ for his let them figure it out approach but you can’t argue with the results.

Shaw is the bridge from Phil to the next phase. With this hire that next phase has now begun prematurely. Brown is better suited for a younger team without title aspirations. Brown has been routinely outcoached at the highest level of hoops. If he’s such a great basketball mind then why did his assistants do much of the coaching in crunch time? For a guy that made his name coaching under no nonsense Gregg Popovich why was Brown allowing LeBron to disrespect the game through dance?

There are just too many questions that have been brought to Los Angeles with the arrival of Mike Brown. The biggest question of all is why now?

Why destroy all championship continuity? Yes, this team failed epically. But let’s not forget the last time they embarrassed themselves on the big stage. After being demolished in Boston in the Finals the Lakers rose from the ashes to take two straight titles including sweet revenge on the hated Celtics.

Let’s not forget how Brown’s Cleveland teams responded to adversity. They generally cowered and folded.

If we were talking about rebuilding the Lakers then I’d love thus hire. Unfortunately we’re talking about reinvigorating the Lakers so I hate this hire. Even if it’s a guy with a .663 career winning percentage, it’s not a good hire…not at this time.

Tags: Andrew Bynum Brian Shaw Gregg Popovich Jim Buss Kobe Bryant Lamar Odom Lebron James Mike Brown Mitch Kupchak Pau Gasol Phil Jackson Ron Artest

comments powered by Disqus