A $100 million payroll couldn’t buy Lakers coach Mike Brown more than one win in his first five games, or enough time to add more to save his job, according to reports. USA Today first reported that Brown’s agent, Warren Legarie, confirmed the coach has been fired after just one full season as head coach in Los Angeles.
Then the report got a second confirmation from ESPNLA.com.
Lakers have fired Mike Brown. Story TK on ESPNLA.com shortly
— ramonashelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 9, 2012
Brown was 42-29 in his short stay with arguably the NBA’s most valuable property, a stay that had been expected to last at least through the team’s six-game home stand starting tonight. Lakers coaching jobs are never without pressure, but Brown’s was unique: He came into the job following the unreal standard set by Phil Jackson, but with a team mired in problems following an ugly playoff exit against Dallas. When he did get his first shot to actually coach, it was in a lockout-shortened season when time was precious to install a new system and develop chemistry with a roster — and after he’d lost one of his best players, Lamar Odom, to a trade. It was a glamorous job but it wasn’t all pretty: even given huge new acquisitions this summer of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, he had just weeks to install his new Princeton offense to a team dealing with injuries and a thin bench.
Instead, he’s out immediately — but his position could be filled very soon. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Lakers management is comfortable buying out the $11 million left on Brown’s contract and is considering hiring Mike D’Antoni.
As Lakers ownership has been considering firing of Brown, Mike D’Antoni has been a prominent name discussed as replacement, sources tell Y!
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 9, 2012
If the core issue between Brown and his lack of success was that a lack of rapport with star Kobe Bryant led to mistrust on the court, then D’Antoni should pass that test immediately. D’Antoni was such an Italian league star that Bryant, growing up in Italy, wore his number. His teams in Phoenix, where he coached Steve Nash to two MVPs, were constant thorns in the Lakers’ side. That didn’t change when D’Antoni moved to the Knicks, where Bryant once said: “It has a lot to do with Mike D’Antoni being over there. We want to stick it to him every time we play against him.”
What do you think?
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