Mike Brown will get more than $4 million a year to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. The official announcement will come this afternoon.
So that’s that. Brown now inherits a team coming off a disappointing end to what was potentially a 3-peat season. He has an aging star in Kobe, a potentially great young center with a seriously short fuse and bad injury history in Andrew Bynum, and he’s got a power forward who’s “power” is constantly in question in Pau Gasol. In short, the Lakers have some serious issues (and we haven’t even gotten into the rest of the roster) that will make this a challenge for Brown.
Is Brown, who has been a defense-first coach, going to be OK with Kobe taking it easy on defense (and in practice) to preserve himself on the offensive side of the court? And what will Brown do with the triangle offense that has fed this Lakers system so successfully for so long?
Chances are… the triangle is gone. And quite honestly… Kobe will be gone soon too. Brown is in LA not to slide in for Phil Jackson and continue what’s been going on. If that’s what the Lakers wanted, they would have just hired Brian Shaw. The disappointment of this past season has clearly spurred the Lakers to take things in a different direction.
Ultimately, this hiring is, at least in part, a message to the players: The way things have been done isn’t good enough anymore. Shaw represented the status quo, and the status quo isn’t going to cut it. Mike Brown, despite the quips about not having won it all, is an outsider brought in to change things.
The question now is… what else will change in L.A. before next season begins?