LA Under New Management: Why the Lakers Success Begins and Ends with Mike Brown

Earlier this summer, the Los Angeles Lakers named former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown as the replacement for Hall of Fame coach and 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson.

The decision came as a surprise to many analysts and fans alike as many believed current assistant coach Brian Shaw to be a shoo-in to fill the vacancy on the bench. Brown is reported to make $18.25 million over the next four years with the Lakers.

Brown’s resume fits the needs of the Lakers at the time in their quest for another title after winning back-to-back championships before being eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals. As head coach of the Cavaliers, Brown was able to make it the NBA Finals in 2007 and two trips to the Eastern Conference finals in five seasons, posting a record of 272-138.

It also helps that his previous star player was none other than LeBron James. However, during James’ time under Brown, he did not seem too pleased with his lack of Finals appearances and made it no secret his slight doubt in Brown’s ability to lead them there.

Kobe Bryant has made it public that he wants the next Lakers’ coach to be more defensive-minded. Luckily for him, Brown fits this description and effectively made the Cavaliers one of the premier defensive teams in the league during his time there. However, his lack of Finals experience causes me to question this hiring.


Kobe is reaching the end of his career with only three years left on his contract with no indication of his willingness to sign another extension. I believe Kobe would rather retire before requesting a trade or signing elsewhere but I also fear that this may indeed occur if Brown does not work fast. Kobe’s mindset at this point in his career is “win now”. The only thing on his mind is getting his sixth championship ring and adding to that collec...

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