The more we learn of the Mike Brown hiring the worse it looks. Replacing Phil Jackson was an impossible task. This much the world knew once the Zen Master walked away from the game. Given the enormity the task of finding a new head coach you’d think all possibilities would have been exhausted.
Mark Heisler is the latest to weigh-in on the current state of affairs within the Lakers’ front office. According to his piece that appears in today’s Times, Jim Buss casted a net about wide enough to catch a guppy.
Mike Brown was the lone interview conducted by Young Buss.
That’s right, with the best job in hoops available one man got a sit down.
How is this possible?
By now it’s old news that Jim Buss wants to leave his mark on this franchise. He’s doing things his way. That’s fine and all but since when did tossing common sense out the wide count as leaving your mark?
I’m of the belief that Rick Adelman wasn’t the right man for the job. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to be gained by picking the brain of a potential Hall of Fame coach.
Jeff Van Gundy never made sense to me as a head coach in Los Angeles. But that doesn’t mean getting an hour of his time won’t benefit the franchise.
Brian Shaw didn’t have the resume to coach the Clippers let alone the Lakers. But common sense says his years with the team merit at least the right to get an interview for a job opening Kobe Bryant was backing him for.
Jim Buss is treading on thin ice at the moment. He might be behind the wheel of daddy’s car but that doesn’t mean he has any clue how to drive. The Mike Brown hire was uninspired and the silence from many within the organization, including almost all players, speaks volumes.
It is widely known that Brown gives a great interview. This was stated when he landed his first gig in Cleveland and has again been confirmed by the $18-million deal he’s got in front of him from Buss.
That’s nice and all but interviews mean as much to the game of basketball as 40-yard dash times do to the game of football. Yes, you have to present yourself in such a manner to get work but what you do when you’re on the clock means more.
Brown clocks in with an astounding career winning percentage of .663. That’s nothing to turn your nose up at. The question is what kind of a career record would he have without LeBron James? My guess is he’d be in Tim Floyd territory. My guess is he wouldn’t have had a brief broadcasting career. My belief is that he wouldn’t have ever been a candidate for the Lakers’ job.
Jim Buss isn’t doing himself any favors. His transition to power has been uneven at best. Rudy Tomjanovich bailed Buss out of a bad deal by walking half way through the first year of a 5-year deal. Chances are Brown won’t give him that luxury should expectations go unmet. Unlike Rudy T, Brown still has much to prove as a head coach. He needs this gig to validate his early career accomplishments.
Now for all we know Brown could become this generation’s Pat Riley. Doubtful but whoever thought Phil Jackson would become the modern Red Auerbach?
I wish I could give Jim Buss credit for taking a chance. The problem is when you only conduct one interview the benefit of the doubt is something that cannot be handed out. Instead of a calculated risk this move has all the makings of Vegas style gamble.
Jim Buss is just praying not to see snake eyes.