An Ode to Mike Brown
Yesterday Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown was fired. This got us to thinking what exactly do we know about Mike Brown, how did he get fired from two teams (LA Lakers/Cleveland Cavaliers) while having arguably the best two players of our current generation?
Mike Brown was a defensive minded blue collar coach who spent stints with the San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers learning the ropes. He then won the Golden Ticket to coach Lebron James in Cleveland. After leading the Cavs to the NBA finals and the best record in the league, he was named coach of the year, and then promptly fired when Lebron took the NBA hostage during his free agency disaster. After a year off he was struck by lightning twice when he landed the Los Angeles Lakers coaching gig. Tough to follow Phil Jackson, but he guided them to the playoffs. Then after 5 games, BAM! Jerry Buss came in and gave him the Brett Meyers and dropped a “Boom, outta here“. Let’s dissect why.
His teams were markedly improved and turned into top tier defensive teams. Defense wins championships, right? Not when you run a Princeton offense that belonged in a rural Kentucky high school team’s playbook. The guy had Lebron freaking James at a time when the Eastern Conference was void of any powerhouse minus the Celtics. Nope. He had Kobe Bean Bryant, the Black F’ing Mamba, yet layed an egg the size of a log Najeh Davenport left in a dorm room laundry basket. Even Nick Nolte thinks you have no excuse.
His relationships with the superstar are about as good as my relationship with Erin Andrews, to say politely there is none. In Cleveland, he often made passes that he was “lucky” and “just glad” that Lebron let him coach him. Come on Mike. You have to go hard like Lou Brown did to Roger Dorn and lay down the law. Lebron and his posse owned Brown and the locker room, a culture Brown let go. Despite coming off 3 consecutive seasons of the best seasons in Cavaliers history, he was canned. What does he do for an encore? Goes to coach the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant. After years of championships and the triangle offense, he installs the aforementioned grade school Princeton offense. The whole entire season there were always questions, and Bryant was unhappy. Kobe was essentially the coach and superstar at the same time. Solution: continue the same culture and bring in over the hill Steve Nash and softest man in the NBA in Dwight Howard. After a 1-4 start to the campaign, and the almighty Chris Broussard and sources applying more pressure than a defense to the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line, Jerry Buss gave him the dreaded kiss of death saying he was safe. Next day, fired!
Despite his defensive prowess he was noted for his 3rd quarter adjustments. Adjustments meaning whatever he was doing in the first half to be successful do the exact opposite. He was more focused on his monster Grizzlie wintergreen lipper he would spit into his green gatorade cup. During the oppositions typical 14-0 run he would stare blankly with hands on his hips, mouth wide open as if he was Cousin Eddie in Vegas Vacation meeting Wayne Newton. Not going to cut it Mike, call a TO.
Lastly, his biggest problem was failure to communicate. He had difficulty spitting out thoughts or sentences. Case in point: Mo Williams, all 6 foot 1 inches, throws the hammer down in Paul Pierce’s face during a playoff game. Can’t fault Pierce though, his half pube stache slowed him down a half step. Asked his thoughts on Mo being able to dunk, and this dunk, he splashs the canvas with this piece of art.
Mike, speak to us? No wonder Kobe gave him the death stare. How can you respect your coach who can not even speak to his players. Jerry Buss honestly was going to keep Mike Brown until he came across this. He had no choice.
Mike Brown, we hardly knew ya.
This was written by Tom Hamm. He is currently trying to purchase a Travis Prentice Cleveland Browns jersey.No Comments