This is what was written in this same space on May 25, 2011, concerning the future plight of the Los Angeles Lakers:
Mike Brown has already demonstrated that he is nothing like his one-time mentor, Gregg Popovich … or, Doc Rivers … or, Rick Adelman … or, Rick Carlisle … or, the as yet, untested Brian Shaw.
Mike Brown is most definitely nothing like the ZenMaster, Phil Jackson.
Mike Brown is someone who has been incapable of exercising the required “level of control” over a superstar player – like LeBron James [in Cleveland] or Kobe Bryant [in LA] – and lacks the type of “wholly integrated system of play” which is necessary to achieve major success in the NBA.
Mike Brown is a good defensive coach. Period.
Mike Brown is not someone who will improve the Lakers’ chances of the winning the NBA title next season, or anytime soon.
The Lakers’ major problems this year had nothing to do with their defensive systems of play … and everything to do with:
i. Their overall lack of talent, in comparison with previous editions of their team;
ii. The poor play of Derek Fisher and Steve Blake;
iii. Their lack of Team Cohesion;
iv. Their overall lack of offensive discipline.
Mike Brown is not the right man to effectively address the Lakers’ specific needs.
This is what the current standings look like in the NBA.
These are the lowlights of last night’s game between the Lakers and the Wizards:
The following is one example of what is being said elsewhere in the blogosphere today about the Lakers’ current plight with Mike Brown at the helm of their listing ship:
With Kobe Bryant firing away, Pau Gasol addresses Lakers’ ‘selfishness’
We hold the Lakers up for a more strident brand of criticism because, frankly, they’re smarter than most teams. And they lost on Wednesday to perhaps the least-cerebral NBA team we’ve seen in decades of watching the game. Kobe Bryant watches more tape than any player in this league. Pau Gasol knows this game (literally and figuratively) inside and out. Mike Brown is absolutely obsessed with going over film and finding statistical quirks to take advantage of.
And yet, the Lakers are 23-16, and 15th in the NBA in offense. Let that swirl for a bit — a team featuring the league’s leading scorer paired with perhaps the NBA’s two most effortless low post scorers is mediocre offensively. No amount of arguing away the gaping holes at the point guard and small forward spots can make this any better. There’s no reason the Lakers should be this poor, 39 games into a season.
Actually, there are several reasons. And though we can point to Kobe firing away on Twitter all night, this comes down to coach Mike Brown actually attempting to stand up to his star player. Something he was clearly incapable of doing in Cleveland with LeBron James, and something he’s failing miserably at in Los Angeles.
When trying to understand properly what exactly is going on with the Lakers, so far this season, it’s important to place both Mike Brown and the players on their roster in the proper perspective.
1. The Lakers still have more than enough talent on their roster to win the Pacific Division this season:
2. Mike Brown is far from being properly described as a terrible basketball coach.
What Mike Brown is … is a terrific defensive coach who, at this point in his career, is wholly incapable of coaching a star player like Kobe Bryant the way he actually needs to be coached … i.e. with the highest degree of personal discipline and responsibility possible … on a daily basis – in conjunction with other far less-talented but, nevertheless, still elite level players like Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Metta World Peace, Troy Murphy, Josh McRoberts, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Derek Fisher, Luke Walton, Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock – in order to win a NBA Championship.
The first-year of Jim Buss’ organizational leadership for the Lakers continues to unfold in a most fascinating way.