One of the ramifications of the firing of Mike Brown is his replacement could end up costing the LakersDwight Howard for the long-term. If the new coach doesn't get along with the newly acquired center, it could create problems.
MIke Brown had an almost laissez-faire kind of coaching style. He was relaxed and comfortable with the players. He was happy to go to Kobe Bryant and ask what he wanted, and when Kobe Bryant came to him with ideas he was happy to hear them.
Brown makes a great lapdog, but not such a great coach.
There may be a reaction from some Lakers fans to push hiring a coach based on how Howard would react to him. Certainly it would make sense to avoid hiring, say, Stan Van Gundy, whom he just got fired (allegedly) in Orlando before telling them he was going to bail on them anyway.
Hiring Van Gundy's brother, Jeff, might not be such a great idea either.
There are a few coaches whose names are the most mentioned, though, and each is a bit of a hardliner, albeit in different ways. Phil Jackson might be "zen" but he's stubborn as a mule. Jerry Sloan was famously old-school. Mike D'Antoni was so set in his system he tried to convince himself and the world that Eddie Curry would work in a fast-paced offense.
Hiring a coach who is a disciplinarian certainly wouldn't sit well with Dwight Howard. He certainly didn't like that Stan Van Gundy yelled at him. Howard told Esquire last year:
"The only thing I had a real problem with was the way he coached. It was very tough with Stan, because he yelled a lot, and I don't want to be that guy to yell at my teammates along with my coach. Because they're going to turn it all off. I had to find different ways to motivate my team. Sometimes when you have so much negativity, it's really hard to be positive. I had a lot of negativity growing up, so I understand how to block the negativity out."
The part about tuning out the yelling could be particularly troubling. The Lakers could bring in a yeller and Howard could just tune him out and think the whole time, "I'm out of here as soon as the season is over."
The problem is that other means of motivating Howard, such as candy for free throws, don't seem to be working particularly well.
Of the three there is one whom Howard has given his blessing on according to Chris Sheridan of Sheridanhoops:
Dwight Howard has told the Los Angeles Lakers he wants them to bring back Phil Jackson as coach,’ a source close to the team tells SheridanHoops.com.
Of course, the grass is always greener right? Jackson might not yell, but he's not exactly soft either, and Howard might be longing for the good old days of getting yelled at by January.
And while Jackson might sit well with Howard, it does raise the question of how well it would sit with Kobe Bryant. Here the lack of an endorsement speaks as loudly as the pronouncement of one from Howard.
Bryant and Jackson have famously feuded even more than Howard and Van Gundy and Bryant might prefer the idea of a coach whom Bryant tells what to do as opposed to one who tells Bryant what to do.
This really could end up being a decision of which star they want to irk less and the last time the Lakers made that choice Bryant was on the other side of the equation as he was the younger superstar they were intent on keeping.
Still Bryant is desperate to win his sixth ring and would probably go along with whatever helped him to get it.
Jackson makes the most sense on a lot of levels. Whatever else has happened between Bryant and Jackson, they've won five rings together and they tend to be all hugs and kisses when they're winning titles.