Was Kobe's 'Death Stare' the Kiss of Death for Mike Brown?

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent INovember 9, 2012

photo courtesy of losthatsportsblog.com
photo courtesy of losthatsportsblog.com

It's happened almost like clockwork, ladies and gentlemen. Mike Brown has been fired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and everyone is talking about the death stare.

For those who haven't heard about the incident, star guard Kobe Bryant gave Brown an evil look in the closing seconds of the Lakers' Wednesday night loss to the Utah Jazz. Two days later, the guy gets fired despite Bryant coming out in full support of him.

That said, the question poses itself: Was this "death stare" Brown's ticket out of Los Angeles?

Well, I'm here to provide the answer. Absolutely not. The only reason Mike Brown was fired after a mere five games was due to his constant employment of the Princeton offense despite the fact that it clearly wasn't working.

Rather than adjust the system to suit the talents of the players he had at hand, Brown refused to believe that his approach was failing and, as a result, the Lakers lost games to teams they otherwise would have defeated handily.

Now, for those who don't know about it, the Princeton offense calls for constant ball movement and essentially makes every position except center completely irrelevant. Teams like the Sacramento Kings used this type of system during their heyday in the early 2000s, but also had their players take open shots when they were present and weren't obsessed with creating mismatches.

That being said, look at who Brown had on his team. He had a five-time champion in Kobe Bryant, a great point man in Steve Nash, fine forwards in Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace and one of the best centers in NBA history in Dwight Howard.

Of course, we can't forget Antawn Jamison's status as sixth man.

Simply put, instead of taking a look at his veteran roster and finding a way to utilize its members' individual talents, Brown instead tried to teach a bunch of old dogs some new tricks. Given how the Lakers' best players are used to playing a certain amount of offense and scoring a certain number of points per game, to have some constant ball-sharing introduced seriously upset the apple cart.

Thus, it wasn't the "death stare" from Kobe Bryant that was Brown's kiss of death. It was the fact that he tried to change the Lakers' culture almost overnight by instilling an offense that was sketchy to begin with and clearly wasn't working, yet he kept up with it.

Unfortunately, his ego got the best of him and now, rather than manning the Lakers' sideline, he's about to man the unemployment line.


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