May 25, 2011 Leave a comment
The Los Angeles Lakers coaching search is almost over and I think they’ve found their man. If they can agree on terms, it looks like former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown will be steering the ship in Southern California. Although some folks believe there are other stronger candidates out there, I think Brown would be a nice fit in Laker Land. Firstly, the one thing that Brown always focused on as a coach in Cleveland was defense. Only once after 2006 did Mike Brown’s Cavs not rank in the top 7 teams in the league in defensive efficiency. Look at the past 25 years as a sample size and try arguing that defense doesn’t win you championships. Actually, forget the past 25 years, you don’t even have to look past the Miami Heat and how they’re winning games in these playoffs. Secondly, I think Mike Brown is a great fit for L.A. for the fact that he’s a charismatic young man, and has the ability to motivate…something I think unfortunately has to be done more often in today’s NBA seasons than we’d like to think. He seems a bit more relatable to the league’s younger demographic than say a guy like Rick Adelman. He clearly knows how to handle superstars, a much-needed characteristic when coaching the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. Even though Brown’s Cleveland teams never won it all, I thought he did a great job with that team (in 5 years, one finals appearance and two Eastern Conference Championship appearances) and the fact that they didn’t win it all had to do more with the lack of overall talent on the Cavs than it did with Mike Brown. Now I know many Laker fans are calling for a ‘in house’ hire of Lakers assistant Brian Shaw, but with the window of opportunity in L.A. closing, is now the time to hire a guy with zero experience? He may be a great coach, but he may not be. As much as L.A. would probably love to hire a home-grown guy, this is clearly not the time for an experiment. I may be naive, but Brown seems to be a logical fit. This won’t be any walk in the park though. In a nutshell, Mike Brown needs to understand he’s not re-inventing the wheel with this veteran team. He must have the ability to be humble and check his ego at the door while getting the most out of his already talented club. Equally as difficult will be doing all that at the same time the local and national media dissect his every move as he attempts to fill the shoes of the winningest coach in the history of basketball. Easier said than done.