Mike Brown shouldn’t have been hired to be coach the Los Angeles Lakers in the first place. Apparently, they were supposed to come out the gates rolling on all cylinders and understandably so, since they didn’t relieve the coach after postseason elimination. Sure, a handful of games is nothing to worry about, in fact the season doesn’t really start (to me) until Christmas time anyways (last year’s lockout made Christmas opening day for last season).
Was it too early? Was it the system? No and no. Don’t tell me future Hall of Fame players can’t play the game of basketball more than one way. Injuries are never an excuse…never. The question should be, what in the world did they see from Mike Brown’s days in Cleveland to hope he can revive the Lake Show? LeBron James basically ran the offense, surrounded by shooters while Coach Brown installed a successful defensive scheme. That’s where the credit falls, but you have to handle the egos and manage the team. As great as he is, James wasn’t the most mature individual with the Cavaliers. The decision was made to hire him, to coach Kobe Bryant. You know about his accolades and all the rings, and the coach did nothing to benefit a battle-tested veteran. By the way, he also coached two 7-footers in Pau Gasol and the recently-traded Andrew Bynum. It just wasn’t happening.
Obviously the best man for the job is the man that had the job. Nobody knows what Phil Jackson is going to do, and although he’s come out of retirement before I think his coaching career is in his rear view (just an opinion). The other day some fan called him old and requested that Jerry Sloan be next in line. Yeah, Jackson is 67 and Sloan is 70 years of age. Plus, I think we’ve seen a similar (not better) coach in Rudy Tomjanovich get the gig only to surrender it back to the man with more championships than fingers. Others are hopefully that Brian Shaw darts his associate role in Indiana, because of his triangle offense foundation and familiarity with the organization. They did pass the opportunity to promote him, and the team has more new faces so this isn’t the simple transition some make it out to be.
Mike D’Antoni is the favorite to land the lead role. He has a past with Steve Nash and high-scoring teams, as well as a relationship with Kobe Bryant overseas. It’s an interesting option, considering D’Antoni and Nash never had 2 all-star bigs and a scoring champion. This could work, sometimes the obvious choice is obvious for a reason.
Listen up, Black Mamba is speaking:
“You guys know how I feel about Phil. The one thing that’s kind of always bothered me is that his last year I wasn’t able to give him my normal self, you know what I mean? Because I was playing on one leg. That’s always eaten away at me. The last year of his career I wasn’t able to give him everything I had. He’s too great of a coach to go out that way. That’s my personal sentiment. For me, it was just … I took it to heart because I couldn’t give it everything that I had, because my knee was shot. That’s always kind of bothered me.”
“Knowing him the way I do, I think it’s really just a matter of health. If he feels physically up to doing it, he’s a perfectionist and we all know he’s a perfectionist. If he feels like he can come here and give what he demands of himself, then I think he’d be interested. He teaches guys to be thinkers. He teaches us the little nuances, the details, the intricacies of the game that just a lot of people don’t know. It’s no fault of their own, but when it comes to basketball he’s at a genius level. It’s tough for anybody to step in those shoes afterwards (with) players who were raised from that tutelage.”
“There’s some great coaches out there, and (D’Antoni would) be another guy who I’d be absolutely in favor of. “I mean, I love D’Antoni and what he brings, and everybody here knows my affinity for Brian Shaw, as well.”
So there you have it Phil, whether you’re in the mountains of Montana or on vacation. Strong message sent and received. Even if he doesn’t go public and lobs Kobe a call, the wish list is short and sweet.