If you stopped by LSL during the hiring process of Mike Brown then you know I was no fan of the move. Forget about the task of replacing Phil Jackson. I’m not even going to get into how Jim Buss mishandled the whole situation. My issues related to the obvious shortcomings Brown had in dealing with LeDiva in Cleveland and his hands-off approach.
However it seemed that each and every person in Los Angeles that has come into contact with Coach Brown comes away being won over. When Kobe Bryant finally broke his long silence on his new coach the five-time champ had nothing but good things to say. Members of the L.A. media soon followed suit.
All along I remained skeptical.
While we still have yet to see how Brown will handle the car now that he’s got the keys I have to admit I’m liking a lot of what I’m hearing. Considering all of the drama that has unfolded before even a single practice occurred it would have been easy for Brown to lay low while preparing his squad.
Instead the likeable coach has been on the frontline answering every tough question with an honest and always positive response.
Knowing full and well what is at stake being a coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Brown has not shied away from stating his goal of winning a title. That goal was made difficult by the lockout and now seems near impossible without Lamar Odom and no other considerable upgrades.
Still, Brown keeps it real in that political coach-speak kind of way. While he always seems measured there is an element of enthusiasm in Brown’s nature that I’m sure players respond well to. That approach won over Jim Buss in such convincing fashion that no other man interviewed for the gig.
I’m finally beginning to see why this coaching search was over before it started.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m still upset that Brian Shaw never got his fare shot and was shown the exit in unceremonious fashion. I’m also going to hold off on offering an open apology to Brown for my knee-jerk reaction to his hiring. Only the results on the court can justify Brown’s arrival here in Los Angeles. He’ll need more than charm to keep his place on that ever hot seat courtside at Staples. He’ll need titles. Plural.
For now Brown is doing and saying all the right things. But this season is very young. He’ll have many more challenges on the horizon most notable is to try and keep an unhappy Kobe Bryant focused on the task at hand. Brown has been put in a bad spot by management. Having to extinguish some fires before Christmas is a tough way to start the holidays but if anybody can weather it I’m convinced it’s Brown. He’s slowly winning me over even if he has yet to notch his first win on the court.