It was very surprising news from the NBA this week. The hiring of former Cavaliers’ coach Mike Brown by the Los Angeles Lakers shocked almost everyone.
Many had Brown penciled in at Golden State, but instead he gets one of the plum coaching job in basketball. The position has been held by Phil Jackson and Pat Riley, both icons of the bench. It’s been offered to Mike Krzyzewski in the all too recent past, and Coach K is perhaps the most well known coach in the sport, guiding both an elite program at Duke and also the US National Team.
It tells you how respected Brown in the basketball community that he got the gig. Perhaps the only job on par with being the Lakers’ head man is being one of the heirs to Red Auerbach’s chair in Boston.
Congratulations to Brown, who certainly was a class act in Cleveland.
We were very critical of Brown’s offensive philosophy while with the Cavaliers, as it appeared he didn’t have much of an idea of how to run a motion type attack. We also didn’t understand the idea of surrounding LeBron James with a bunch of one-dimensional players on offense, but notably a bunch of three-point shooters.
Mo Williams and Anthony Parker both had the ability to take the ball to the basket before they came to Cleveland, but the offense never took advantage of that ability.
It appears now that the problem with the offense was James, who needed and demanded to have the ball in his hands all the time. Mostly because he thought so little of his teammates, which is why he frequently tells everyone he didn’t have any help in Cleveland, despite winning 127 regular season games in his last two seasons in wine and gold.
James apparently only respects the players he believes are close to him in ability instead of raising the talents of his teammates.
The Lakers’ hiring of Brown means they do not hold the coach responsible for the lack of ball movement which occurred at times during his tenure, instead they blame James. They believe that the two-time MVP must have broke off plays, or simply flat refused to run the sets the coach called.
If that’s not the case, why would you hire the man to coach Kobe Bryant, who is a guy who wants to win above anything else, although sometimes he may go about it the wrong way.
If Los Angeles owner Jerry Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak thought that Brown was a guy who allowed James to do whatever he wanted, do you really think they would hire him to guide Bryant to another title? No, unless they believe Bryant can play and coach, and want Brown to serve as a figurehead during him tenure.
It tells you that at least from the LA point of view, Brown tried to coach LeBron James, and the player thought he knew more than the coach, or was above being tutored by him. To James credit, he did learn how to play on the defensive end of the floor from Brown, who is excellent on that end of the floor.
An organization that has one as much as the Lakers is probably too smart to give the keys of one of the NBA’s elite franchises to a man who will be overrun by his players.
Good luck, coach. The Lakers gave you the best endorsement you could ever get.