Mike Brown got the benefit of the doubt last year. The lockout took away any official introductory period between Coach Brown and his players. The vetoed Chris Paul deal followed by the Lamar Odom selloff took away any chance of the Lakers winning a title.
So even though Brown’s first season was more miss than hit (by Laker standards) there was some promise shown all things being considered.
Of course now that the Lake Show has reloaded the honeymoon is officially over for Brown. There are no moral victories when it comes to the Lakers. Brown’s offensive ineptitude is no longer a valid excuse. Not with Steve Nash at the point.
Brown’s defensive genius is also going to have to be on full display now that he’ll have one of the game’s most dominating defensive presences in the middle in Dwight Howard.
I short it is now or never for Brown. There is no more time for learning on the job. Now is the time for results.
Another lackluster showing in the second round of the playoffs could push Brown to the edge of the hot seat he’s currently uncomfortably perched upon. As we know there is only one way to remain employed by the Buss family and that’s by putting your name on a championship ring. Anything short of that, especially with a revamped roster, could and should result in Brown heading back to the bread line.
Beyond this being a make or break year for Brown as the Lakers coach, it could be a make or break year for him as a head coach in the NBA. At least being at the helm of a flagship franchise it is.
Brown has proven himself as a competent coach. He just hasn’t shown the knack for being someone who could win a title or two while directing a team. Guys who get to coach the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash only have so many excuses. With that type of talent at his disposal I think we all know how Phil Jackson would have fared.
Fair or unfair, Brown will forever be compared to PJ because that’s who he replaced. But Brown knew that before he took the job. He also knew that expectations in Los Angeles greatly differ from those in Cleveland. 60 wins and a trip to the Western Finals yet and still no parade down Figueroa will be viewed as a failure.
That’s just the reality of taking the helm of the Laker ship. The colder reality is that Brown’s honeymoon was shorter lived than Brett Ratner’s tenure as the Oscars show runner. For Brown the show could be over if he doesn’t deliver a commanding performance in his second season.