New Lakers Coach Mike Brown Is Embracing Los Angeles
Is there a more coveted job in all of sports then head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers? The Lakers have Sixteen NBA championships and have retired numbers of some of the greatest players in league history. When the lights dim in the Staples Center and the spotlight is put on the players on center court you feel the nostalgia. During the 2000’s under the tutelage of the Zen Master Phil Jackson the Lakers won five of those 16 NBA titles.
Well Jackson is gone now after 20 years as a head coach, to old and worn out to go through another long NBA season. Many assumed the Lakers would hand the job over to former Laker and current Jackson assistant Brian Shaw, but the Lakers spurned Shaw and several other big name candidates to hire 41 year old and former Cleveland Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown. This move shocked many analysts nationally and especially right here in Los Angles.
The facts are that Mike Brown is a terrific hire by the Lakers, compared to someone like Shaw who was taking to just be a Jackson minion. The Lakers, who were embarrassed and swept out of the playoffs last year by the eventual champion Dallas Mavericks, and it was clear that the Jackson era was over and the Lakers were in need of a new voice. Brown’s coaching philosophy is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the Zen Master. Jackson ran the triangle offense, which revolves around spacing allowing each teammate to receive a pass at any time.
The Lakers possess the capabilities to run this offense the triangle as there are loaded with skill players that have the versatility to run this offense, as personified by the great Kobe Bryant. As Jackson niche was coaching the offense, Browns expertise is on the defensive end of the floor. Defense is something the Lakers have struggled with. The Mavericks picked apart the Lakers defense last year; sweeping the Lakers rights out of the playoffs.
Brown is used to coaching a team that has huger expectations not only for itself but in the media as well. Those expectations in Cleveland far exceeded the talent that was actually on the court for Cavaliers those years. It was basically LeBron James or bust on offense for those Cavaliers teams despite the efforts by the Cavaliers front office to bring in top talent next to James. This didn’t withhold Brown to leading the Cavaliers to the top record in the league two years in a row and the conference championship in 2007. Brown fired by Cleveland in 2010; comes into a situation where the talent is abundant around two time NBA finals MVP and future hall of famer Kobe Bryant. Browns new star player Bryant according to Brown has far different mindset then his former star James.
The Lakers coach recently stated, “There's just a different feel to the two guys that it's hard to put into words right now.”
Yes, LeBron James is a great player but it’s quite obvious that he and Bryant are strung form a different cord. Bryant has thrived under Browns new offensive system, which relies heavily on one on one play where Bryant is most comfortable. Brown is used to coaching star players and more than used to having the pressure to winning a championship every year.