UPDATE: Reports are now that this a is a done deal. Chris Broussard just tweeted the following: “Deal is done. Mike Brown and Lakers agree to 4-year, $18.25 million deal. Team option for 4th year. Brown gets $2.5 mil if option not taken.”
Out of all the potential head coaching candidates for the L.A. Lakers, Mike Brown wasn’t considered a favorite. Most figured he was at the bottom of the list, below Rick Adelman, below Brian Shaw and possibly below Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Dunleavy. But somehow it appears Brown has emerged and will be named the new head coach of one of the most celebrated organizations in sports.
While the former Cleveland coach was considered a favorite for the Warriors job, CSNBayArea.com is reporting that two league sources now say he will soon become Phil Jackson‘s replacement. The move hasn’t been made official, but the sources expect Brown to sign a four-year $18 million contract.
Shaw was the logical choice at the start of the hiring process because of his great relationship with Kobe Bryant. Kobe endorsed him early on, and most figured that’s all he needed. But as the Lakers move into a new era of basketball, it’s probable that Shaw’s strengths (his familiarity with the triangle and the Jackson-era) came to hurt him.
From there, Jerry Buss moved on to Adelman and Van Gundy. Both have more of what we are used to seeing from a Laker head coach: an offensive genius and a knack for entertaining basketball (Adelman) or a big name capable of dealing with big personalities (Van Gundy).
So how will Brown fit? Tom Ziller of SBNation says it could work:
Under Brown, they’ll be prepared; there’s no question about that. Jackson is famously chill on the sidelines, in terms of directing traffic, especially on offense. He has instilled a system (the Triangle offense), he has taught the system, he trusts the system, he trusts the players to implement the system. He chills. Brown may not have that conviction of a system, but like Jackson he’ll trust his players to make the right plays.
While it was rumored Brown clashed with LeBron James at times in Cleveland, he is a fantastic defensive coach and helped turn Cleveland into one of the best teams in the league. Still, the Lakers haven’t consulted with Bryant yet, and there is a chance he may scoff at the idea.
On the exterior, Brown doesn’t appear to be a traditional fit in L.A. But maybe that’s just what this veteran team needs.
Is Mike Brown the right fit?
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