And now the head coach of your Los Angeles Lakers, Miiiiiiiiiike … Brown?
I haven’t heard Lawrence Tanter recite that name yet, but I doubt it will ever stop being weird. Mike Brown. Good ol’ Mike Brown. The only thing I remember about Mike Brown coaching in the NBA is that he had the best player on the planet, they were always pretty good, but never good enough to win a title. Sorry, Mike. This isn’t Cleveland. In Hollywood we expect rings, banners, jerseys waiting to be retired on the court and Jack Nicholson on the sidelines. We expect zen and confetti. We expect results. You can’t possibly be the guy. You were Lebron’s guy, and look where that got you.
Here’s what the basketball analyst in me says: Mike Brown has a Coach of a Year award. In his last two seasons he had 127 wins and 37 losses. Phil Jax? 122 and 42. His teams finished near the top of every major defensive category for every year he coached Lebron James. Its not his fault Delonte West happened. Its not his fault Lebron James wasn’t ready to be the One. With the greatest off into Montana’s sunset, the Lakers don’t have time to think about his legacy. The window is closing, and the veterans needed a guy to bring a fresh take and new schemes that will modernize their game. For all the knocks he takes, Jim Buss is a fighter, and Jerry Buss won’t see his last few years on this Earth with a broken team. They made a pick, and the Buss family has managed 15 Finals appearances in 31 years, I don’t see a reason to stop trusting them now.
But, I bleed purple and gold. And as a Lakers fan I am banging my head against the wall watching the Mavs and the Heat play for OUR title. Every year is my year, and every coach is expected to be the person to bring home some jewelry. So Mike, you might pass the stat sheet test, but you’ve yet to pass the ring test. Are you going to be Phil Jackson? Or Pat Riley? Or are you going to be Rudy Tomjanovich? Or Paul Westhead?
Your time is now Mike, and we’re all watching.