Why Didn't Los Angeles Lakers Fire Mike Brown Last Spring?

Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer INovember 9, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers  confers with Dwight Howard #12 of the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on October 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Mavericks won 99-91.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images))
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

According to USA Today Sports writer Sam Amick, Mike Brown was fired today in the wake of a 1-4 start and evidently losing the respect of Kobe Bryant.

The Mike Brown era for the Los Angeles Lakers will not be spoken in the same breath as the Pat Riley nor the Phil Jackson era. Brown can take solace that his time in Los Angeles lasted longer than Rudy Tomjanovich's. But his time in the Staples Center will no doubt be a bitter memory.

Brought in to replace outgoing legend Phil Jackson, Mike Brown beat out Brian Shaw for the head coaching position. According to Ian Thomsen of SI.com, the Laker's front office was trying to distance itself from Phil Jackson and his philosophy.

That makes perfect sense, of course. Why would anyone want to continue a program that led to seven trips to the NBA Finals and five titles since 2000?

Brown was supposed to turn the Lakers into a defensive team. Instead the Lakers became a dysfunctional team. They went 41-25 in the shortened 2011-2012 season and barely beat the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs before being clobbered by the Thunder in the Western Semifinals.

Of course, this season began with sky high expectations with the addition of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. And the team seems to have been assembled, along with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and the artist formerly known as Ron Artest (this author refuses to call him Metta World Peace) with the intention of taking on the champion Heat as a super team.

But if the Lakers were going to make a move at coach, why was it made five games into a season where the team is not completely healthy? Whatever problems that have occurred before the season reached double digits in games played were also there when the team broke for camp.

This move does not make the Lakers look like they will accept nothing less than victory. They look like a team panicking and might be as ill conceived as the 2003-2004 season that began with Karl Malone and Gary Payton arriving and ended with Phil Jackson and Shaquille O'Neal leaving.

Fans panicking and even writing nasty Tweets to Mike Brown's son, according to Dan Devine at Yahoo Sports' Ball Don't Lie, can be expected, if not condoned. A marquee franchise panicking is inexcusable.

Kobe Bryant's staredown of Mike Brown, as reported by Scott M. Gleeson of USA Today, illustrates that this remains Number 24's team, good or bad. If that is the case, then why not give him approval of the coach? Or why not make this move after the Oklahoma City loss last spring?

Why throw an interim coach into this situation with the season already started?

What could Brown possibly have done without a healthy team in five days to cause such a panic move that could not have been done before training camp?

The Lakers have put their new coach—whomever it may be—into an impossible situation, and may have put the Miami Heat in a position where they are the overwhelming favorites to repeat before mid November.

Will the Lakers give Phil Jackson a call?

Would he even answer?