Well, that was quick. Mike Brown and the Princeton Offense were given five games to work with this new collection of stars, and after an embarrassing 1-4 start, both the coach and presumably the offense, were given the old heave-ho.
My first instinct is to say it was way too soon and a panic move, but the truth is, watching the team play, I suppose it had to be done. It’s kind of the old chicken and the egg argument as far as who to blame. If the players play with no energy and give about 50 percent effort, logic says you should blame the players, but more often than not the coach gets the blame. “He can’t even get these guys to play hard,” is the backward logic.
Following Phil Jackson was never a great position for Brown, and now, this pathetic start was just too much to overcome. I agree with the move in the sense that the Lakers have to go all in to win this year. Aging stars, Howard on a one-year deal, etc. They can’t wait until next year.
Another factor for the urgency, and I can already feel my friend Marcel’s eyes rolling, is the emergence of the Clippers. You know that watching their Staples mates generate so much excitement, while the Lakers stagnate is not going unnoticed by the Lakers’ brass.
So what’s next? Presumably Phil Jackson will be asked, he might even say yes. I suppose that would be good for Kobe. As Kobe made clear in that “Smush Parker” article, he only plays hard with or for people he respects. If not Phil then I don’t know who can generate excitement for the Black Mamba. Jerry Sloan, Mike D’Antoni and Brian Shaw have been popular names thrown around.
I always suggest Larry Brown as a solution for any coaching opening. Though he prefers to turn around flailing franchises, he did have success in Detroit getting an established team over the hump. He does command respect, and he’s perfect if you don’t need him to stick around for a long time.
Whoever replaces Brown, they will at least have the luxury of not being the guy that replaced Phil.
Who will coach? What offense will they run? The drama is back in Lakerland. Hey, one thing has already been accomplished, no one is talking about the Clippers today.