Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Speaking of scapegoats, Mike Brown knows a thing or two about being piled on by those looking to assign blame. Brown was Coach of the Year with the Cleveland Cavaliers but was given the boot prior to LeBron James bolting town in 2010.
Because, you know, Brown was apparently at fault for the Cavs' inability to win big games or field a competent roster around LeBron.
Brown arrived in L.A. last year to little fanfare. Any excitement about his arrival was drowned out by skepticism surrounding the Lakers' apparent decision to overlook other coaching candidates of better fit (i.e. Brian Shaw and Rick Adelman).
And when the Lakers got off to a slow start in 2011-12 and ultimately fell flat in the playoffs, it was Brown who was once again targeted for being Not Phil Jackson or Not [Insert Name of More Popular Choice Here]. Fans, pundits and, apparently, players questioned Brown's tactics and rotations.
All of which was due to come under greater scrutiny once Nash and Howard put on the Purple and Gold.
As such, most anything that Brown does (or tries to do) now is likely to be analyzed through a lens with a preexisting anti-Mike bias, especially if it doesn't succeed right off the bat. It was Brown's idea to try the Princeton offense with this team, and since some presume Brown to have whatever the opposite of the Midas touch is, then it stands to reason that his offense is the root of the problem.
Would Brown be second-guessed so roundly if he already had a championship ring in his collection? Kobe would seem to think not, as he told Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times:
“Now you have Mike Brown telling everybody to be patient,” Bryant said. “Back then, it was Phil Jackson telling everybody to shut up.
“The critics are more likely to take runs at him [Brown] than they would at Phil Jackson.”
Now Bryant can be the one to ask for silence.
“Yeah because I’ve won, so I can,” Bryant said. “Mike, it would be a little tougher for him to say that. So I’ll say it for him: Everybody shut up. Let us work.”
And work they shall, whether anyone notices or not.