“Today we relieved Mike Brown of his head coaching duties with the Los Angeles Lakers. Mike is a good man. Very hard working, maybe one of the hardest-working coaches that I’ve ever been around,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “The bottom line is that the team is not winning at the pace that we expected this team to win and we didn’t see improvement. We wish Mike well and we’re sorry it ended this way. So, we’ve decided to move in another direction and make a change.”
The Lakers, who have the league’s largest payroll at just more than $100 million and signed Brown to a four year contract worth $18.25 million in May 2011, added future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash and powerful center Dwight Howard in the offseason to an already formidable roster consisting of iconic shooting guard Kobe Bryant, four-time All-Star Pau Gasol, batshit crazy 2004 Defensive Player of the Year Metta World Peace and two-time All-Star power forward Antawn Jamison.
The 42-year-old Brown, a defensive specialist who earned the 2009 NBA Coach of the Year award with the Cleveland Cavaliers, instituted a form of the Princeton offense in an attempt to relieve the aging Bryant of some physical stress.
Unfortunately for the former video coordinator of the Denver Nuggets, Brown was only allowed to coach roughly five percent of the 82-game season and the Lakers are already actively pursuing Phil Jackson and Mike D’Antoni as a replacement.
“It’s neck and neck,” said a source.
Despite being a talented collection of geriatrics that somewhat resemble The Golden Girls in high tops, the Lakers are an extremely balanced squad and their size and physicality will ultimately prove to be overwhelming for all challengers to compete against.
Barring a rash of injuries, it’s hard to envision that Los Angeles wouldn’t have eventually gelled with Brown and prevented the Miami Heat from going back-to-back in the spring.
It seems evident that Brown was a patsy and Lakers’ suits canned the poor sap because they are determined to rehire Jackson.
Los Angeles undoubtedly “decided to move in another direction and make a change” so that the all-time winningest coach in league history with 11 crowns can lead the organization to its 18th Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy this June.
Still, it’s sad that the abrupt, and unfair, firing happened to “a good man” like Mike Brown.by