When the Los Angeles Lakers announced the firing of then-coach Mike Brown just five games into an 82-game regular season, the basketball world erupted.
Sure, the presumed next NBA super power stumbled out to a 1-4 start, but none of those four losses would be considered a bad loss.
Not to mention that L.A.'s biggest offseason acquisitions hadn't yet had an opportunity to show their true values. Dwight Howard's training camp and preseason were limited by his recovery from back surgery, and Steve Nash suffered a fracture in his left leg during the team's second game.
Theories abound as to the reasons why the Lakers opted for such an abrupt decision on Brown's future.
The sluggish start of his recently installed Princeton offense could have brought his demise.
The unrelenting glare, later dubbed superstar Kobe Bryant's death stare, enjoyed a brief run as the culprit.
The list of talented, jobless coaches (Phil Jackson, Mike D'Antoni, the Van Gundy brothers) could have been a driving factor, but those coaches were all available over the offseason.
Yahoo! Sports scribe Marc J. Spears reported that sources say the rash verdict could be attributed to the hot start of the championship hopeful (and fellow Staples Center inhabitants) Los Angeles Clippers, who have already amassed a 1.5 game cushion in the Pacific Division.
No matter their reasoning, the quick trigger of the front office highlighted a mashed panic button rarely seen among elite franchises.
Bryant entered the 2012-13 season (as he had the past two) trailing Michael Jordan by one championship ring. The proud, legendary Lakers franchise would like nothing better than to see their prodigy catch (or even surpass) the Windy City's best.
But poorly thought out (and disastrously executed) decisions like these may have signaled the beginning of the end of his pursuit.
The five NBA championships Bryant helped secure in the purple and gold have largely been the result of a steady core of talent, as distinguished for their production as for their continuity.
This manufactured dynasty hopeful and the accompanying coaching carousel could not be a further departure from what helped Bryant and the Lakers raise those first five banners.
In the past calendar year, Los Angeles parted ways with franchise cornerstones Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher (and nearly dealt Pau Gasol prior to the 2011-12 season in the David Stern-nullified Chris Paul trade).
The loyalty in the organization runs about as deep as the roster itself. And that's not something that the addition of Mike D'Antoni (or even Phil Jackson) can fix.
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