Well, That Was Quick – Lakers Fire Mike Brown

Credit: Examiner.com

Following one middling year, five regular season games, and countless death threats, Mike Brown has been fired by the Los Angeles Lakers, according to reports originating from Sam Amick of USA Today.

According to other sources, Bernie Bickerstaff will serve as coach for tonight’s game.

The news comes just days into a season filled so far with unmet expectations. The Lakers started the season 1-4, losing to four decent or better teams and only beating the lowly Pistons. The Lakers struggled with integrating the Princeton offense and appropriately working on both ends of the floor. He brought in Eddie Jordan, among others, to initiate the new offense. While the numbers worked out okay, the Lakers clearly struggled with the intricacies the Princeton has. And their defense suffered, which is to be expected when the entire camp is spent learning the new offense.

Of course, firing a coach after just 5 games makes little sense in general, especially since the coach could have been relieved over the summer if he wasn’t the preferred choice. Moreover, five games clearly isn’t enough to really gauge what Brown could have done with the team. Dwight Howard missed most of camp. Steve Nash has missed the last three games. But if the players called for it and ownership approved, I can’t help but agree with the decision. Brown has been seen mostly as a bad fit as Phil Jackson’s replacement.

At this point, the Lakers seem primed to go after a big name coach. Jerry Sloan, Mike D’Antoni, and Brian Shaw seem to be the most likely candidates, although Stan Van Gundy and Phil Jackson will inevitably be approached about interest in the job, though not necessarily from the Lakers.

Among these candidates, I personally believe D’Antoni to be the best candidate. He led legendary offenses in Phoenix with Nash at the helm, has a past with Kobe based on their Italian backgrounds, and generally has the approval of his non-Melo players. Moreover, in New York his team had a top-10 defense with the backbone of Tyson Chandler before his firing. Dwight Howard, when healthy, is the best defensive player in the league, even better than Chandler. Sloan’s terse demeanor will wear off poorly on Dwight and probably everyone else too, while Shaw most likely will be trapped in his contract in Indiana (coaches for pseudo-contending teams rarely get let go midseason).

No matter who is hired, it will be a sexy name. And there will be more drama, because it’s the Lakers, and a good amount of success, also because it’s the Lakers.


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