If you stop by LSL often enough you already know I’m no fan of the Mike Brown hire. Nothing personal, I just don’t think he’s the right man for the task at hand. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw in his introductory press conference. Then came word that he and Kobe are actually on good terms despite Bryant’s prolonged silence.
Just as I was starting to warm up to the idea of the LeBron enabler calling shots in Los Angeles news breaks that he’s brought John Kuester on board as one of his assistants.
That would be the same John Kuester that was at the helm of the Detroit Pistons during an outright mutiny. Not exactly the kind of news that quells my angst with regards to Brown’s inability to control his players.
Now by most accounts Kuester is a well respected coach in the NBA circle. He’s not some new jack fresh off the street as he’s been around the block a few times. Kuester was there with Brown in Cleveland so the familiarity will help in instituting the new system – whatever that might be.
Still Kuester arrives in L.A. with a dark cloud hanging over his head. Did his players really organize a boycott in the D? There were differing reports on that infamous occurrence this season so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
My concern is that between Brown and Kuester just who is going to be able to handle the larger than life personalities that occupy the Laker locker room? Clearly neither of them was able to do much to control the Kanye sized ego that is Queen James. Supposedly Kuester managed to offend some of the most easy going players in the game in Detroit.
Not the stuff that makes the Jim Buss decision look any better than the LeBust decision.
Yes, this about as knee jerk a reaction as you’ll ever see to an assistant hire. But you’ll excuse my quick fire response in wake of the fact that the guy the entire roster respected – Brian Shaw – was let go without even as much as an offer to remain on Brown’s staff.
To be sure it is impossible to replace Phil Jackson. That goes without saying. What made PJ a man among toddlers in the coaching world was his ability to get even the most stubborn of personalities (MJ, Shaq, Kobe, Rodman, Metta, etc.) to listen to what he had to say. The track record for Kuester and Brown indicates they don’t have much of a voice in the locker room.
I’ll tell you who the current Lakers would absolutely lend an ear to whenever he speaks – Brian Shaw. Unfortunately the only way they’ll hear his voice is when he calls collect from Indiana.
I hope I’m wrong on this but something tells me this is yet another brick in the Jim Buss wall. Congrats Jimmy Buss, you’re doing things your way even if that means undoing the ways things your dad has always done them – the right way.