To add a second witness to the story, CSN Bay Area's Matt Steinmetz has reported that Brown will indeed be the Lakers' new head coach.
At first glance, this may sound like a decent move. Brown seems like a nice enough guy and he had an impressive record while coaching in Cleveland.
During his five years as head coach of the Cavaliers, Brown was 272-138. He reached the second round of the playoffs every season and was named Coach of the Year for the 2008-09 season.
His resume may look good, but let’s not forget who his star player was during that five-year run—LeBron James.
Despite coaching the 2009 and 2010 MVP, Brown never led his team to a championship. Many felt that Brown’s success was a direct result of coaching LeBron and had little to do with Brown’s coaching ability.
In fact, following the 2009-10 season, Brown was fired with the intent that a new coach might convince LeBron to stay in Cleveland.
To give Brown a little credit, he has a reputation of being a very good defensive coach. His Cleveland teams consistently ranked among the best defensive teams in the NBA and Brown had to have played a major role in that.
But let’s not forget that Brown is still relatively inexperienced. He may have been able to get Cleveland’s quick and athletic players to fit into his defensive system, but will he be able to get a veteran team to buy in?
While his ability to coach defense is not a concern for most, many have expressed that he has never been able to coach the other side of the court. While his Cleveland teams played good defense, they were atrocious on offense.
Anyone who watched the Cavaliers offense at the end of a game knows the routine.
They ran an isolation for LeBron James at the top of the key. LeBron would dribble for 17 seconds while the rest of the team stood around. Finally, when there were a few seconds on the clock, LeBron would either drive to the hoop or pull up for a three-pointer.
(On a side note, who would have thought that the Mike Brown offense would later be employed by Scotty Brooks and the OKC Thunder? The only difference is the Thunder run it with Russell Westbrook.)
Another factor to consider is how the Lakers players will respond. They went from having a Hall of Fame coach to a guy whose last job was terminated because he couldn’t win a title. How is that going to go over in the locker room?
And what about Kobe?
Kobe has proven throughout his career that if he’s not happy, the team isn’t happy. He recently put his stamp of approval on former teammate Brian Shaw and recommended him for the head coaching job. How will Kobe respond to an outsider—who has never won anything—telling him what to do?
Not too long ago, everything was bright and sunny in Laker land. Kobe was on pace to win his sixth championship and Phil was ready to ride off into the sunset with his fourth three-peat.
Just a few weeks later, the team has suffered through an embarrassing four-game sweep and the possible hiring of Mike Brown.
Can the month of May get any worse?