Someone call 911.
It's happened already.
Mike Brown took over in Los Angeles less than 12 months ago as the surprise candidate to replace Hall of Fame head coach Phil Jackson in the Staples Center hot seat, and already the Lakers are hurtling for a full-on meltdown.
And the Lakers' reputation as a potential contender for the Western Conference crown lies broken.
Rewind back to Mike Brown's hiring. Kobe Bryant announced soon after that he had not been consulted on the appointment of Brown—a statement that sounded far from a glowing backing of his new coach.
Fast forward to the week before the All-Star Game. The Lakers have just beaten out the Portland Trail Blazers on their own floor. With the team back in the locker room, Bryant and Derek Fisher held a players-only meeting to address concern about the ex-Cleveland coach's offensive tactics.
And following the Lakers' back-to-back losses to the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards (!), there is mutiny in the air. Players are reportedly irked, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, by Brown's micromanaging. Brown had to back down on his rigorous practice schedule after Andrew Bynum blamed his poor performance on overwork.
Brown backed down on his offensive strategies too, allowing the Lakers to break plays more often and lean a little more on the talents of each individual player.
The players were happy again.
This all came crashing down to earth after Wednesday's morale-crushing loss as Mike Brown blamed the loss on an over-reliance on the likes of Kobe, Pau Gasol and Bynum to bail out the offense with tough isolation plays.
Kobe was 9-of-31 and missed 16 of his final 20 shots. The Lakers made just a single field goal in the final three minutes.
We are not talking about players running to the media or their senior executives demanding Brown's head on a plate. There are, according to ESPN.com, veteran players longing for a return to Jackson's Triangle offense.
They want to run it themselves per ESPNLosAngeles.com:
Sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com that multiple players have continued to meet privately since the initial team meeting to discuss running elements of the Triangle offense again.
Only one coach has ever had success running the Triangle offense. He's now in the Hall of Fame. The rest either lost their jobs or abandoned the approach after criticism or outright failure.
And now a team consisting of Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake and Matt Moore want to try to run it without any coaching help.
Great idea guys.
The most complex offense in history being run without coaching and probably on minimum practice.
Yes, the Lakers need to change something offensively; the team is averaging it's lowest points-per-game (94) since the inception of the 24-second shot clock in 1954-55.
But this is the wrong way to change that stat and the team's fortunes.
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