Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Mike Brown: New LA Lakers Head Coach?

Mike Brown is but a signature away from sitting in the single hottest seat in world sport. If the reports are correct, the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach will be Phil Jackson's successor in Tinseltown.

Mike Brown: Future Lakers coach?
This came as a huge "what on earth" moment to myself and many other NBA followers. Mike Brown was the coach who failed to deliver a title with a Cleveland team that, at the time, looked for all the money like it should have won at least one. Mike Brown led James' team into the Playoffs several times, however his record is hardly awe-inspiring. 3 first-round defeats. 1 exit in the Conference Finals to an Orlando Magic team that managed two 10-point wins over the Cavs. The Cavaliers made it to the Finals once, where they were swept aside 4-0 by the San Antonio Spurs. Lebron James was the central player of that team and although the pieces around him were not the best, they were good enough to win at least one Championship. Brown was also the man who did all he could to keep James with his hometown Cavaliers as long as he could by signed legendary center Shaquille O'Neal.

Brown is a surprising turn for the Lakers. Famed for being a defensive mastermind, he will face a tough crowd in Los Angeles where they are more accustomed to watching a flashy, offensively minded team.

His tactics in Cleveland came under criticism. His offensive strategy appeared to be 'give the ball to James' and not much else. With a player as skilled as Lebron, this worked 80% of the time, the problems came when James faced defensive specialists in Boston and Orlando. Brown also seemed to do nothing in timeouts, at times he would be standing ten yards away while his assistants gave the pep talk, made adjustments and issued the plays. For a man needing to follow arguably the best coach the NBA has ever witnessed, his style is not conducive to long-term success. His ego management skills were questionable in Cleveland where many argued that James was the real coach. How will he cope in the mega-fishbowl of Los Angeles, with Kobe Bryant, reality-tv star come NBA player Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum's temper and Pau Gasol's... Gasol-ness?

It would be far from shocking to watch the Laker offense turn into a Kobe-led isolation festival. If that happens, The Mike Brown era will not last long in Tinseltown.

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