Okay, obviously I’m not so delusional as to believe anyone in the Laker organization read my plea on this blog for Brown to go, but there were thousands of similar posts all over cyberspace, so it’s safe to say our message was received in one way or another. As a collective, we made our voices heard and the Laker ownership listened. They listened to us, they listened to the big wigs at Time Warner Cable who are literally shelling out billions of dollars to broadcast Laker games—but most of all, they listened to their own hearts and minds and did what was best for the team. (Thanks, Jim Buss for swallowing your ego, I know that must have been hard.) The Lakers have always been about winning championships, dating back to their days in Minneapolis with George Mikan. Clearly that trend was not going to continue under Mike Brown.
I’m only a fan, but from my prime seat on the couch, it’s my expert opinion that Brown’s biggest failure was his inability to adapt to the game’s flow. From what I understand, he was a great x’s and o’s man. He could draw up brilliant plays with the best of them. But what he never seemed to get is that basketball is a game of runs. A game of punches and counter-punches. Whatever one team is doing well in a quarter or half is pointed out to the opposing team by its coach, and adjustments are made. Brown never made those in-game adjustments, and that’s why he’s not an NBA-caliber head coach. All the pundits around the nation are going to say how unfair it was to Mike Brown to give him only five games. But in fact, he had all of last season, a full month of training camp this summer, and 8 preseason games to prove he could coach a team whose starting five is considered the first or second best in the entire league. The result was one win in those 13 games. And the worst of it was, the team wasn’t showing any improvement.
Brown claims to have been caught totally off guard about his dismissal—and that’s yet another clue as to why he isn’t head coach material. Recently, when asked when he thought the team might start to show improvement, he said that hopefully after Christmas they would start to gel “a little bit” and after the All Star Game (which is in February) he thought they would start to stack up wins. Meanwhile, he would no doubt have continued to play Kobe and D Howard and Pau 37+ minutes per game, ensuring that they would be worn out once the playoffs arrived in May. Just last week, when asked about how well the Clippers were playing, he said he didn’t know because he only watched two teams in L.A., the Lakers and his son’s high school team. There were numerous other quotes that suggested Mr. Brown’s priorities were a bit out of whack, that he simply didn’t understand the Laker culture of winning now. So, at the risk of sounding classless and rude: good riddance, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.