Friday, November 9, 2012
Should the Lakers Fire Mike Brown? Well, They Just Did
The Lakers are off to a 1-4 start, their worst since the 1993-94 season. In a city without a football team and where the defending World Champion Kings are sidelined by a lockout, basketball reigns supreme. So with their worst start in almost two decades hanging over their heads going into a six-game homestand, will there be jobs on the line, namely the head coach's spot occupied by Mike Brown?
When the Lakers attempted to create a "super team" by signing Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, it was easy to pick them as the NBA Finals favorite. But no one picked this kind of start. The new system the players...
So right there is as far as I got writing this post, before the breaking news came out that head coach of the Lakers Mike Brown has been fired. He only made it five regular season games into his second season with the team, writing a strange ending to the chapter following his stay in Cleveland where he won Coach of the Year in 2009.
Firing Brown was ultimately the wrong choice by the Lakers. They have too many egos to control and too much to learn to start over with a new coach. This essentially erases all they learned from him over the summer, but the one good thing that comes from this is that they weren't very good at applying what they learned, so hopefully a new coach can bring a quick fix.
From 3,000 miles away, even I could feel the pressure the media was putting on the purple and gold. Kobe Bryant's "death stare," Steve Blake mouthing off to a fan and Howard's constant internal battle over whether he is defined as a center or a forward are all cases of how the team is already starting to wear themselves down.
Howard has fired back at Shaquille O'Neal and then the NBA itself, declaring himself a true center and taking things very personally when someone says otherwise. He first needs to work on lightening up, then he needs to work on adjusting to his new role. His selfishness is hurting the team's defense as a whole -- a defense that has only held opponents to under 23 points per quarter four times through five games.
The Lakers defense has always been streaky, at best, as shown here in January and here two months later during last season. This year will not be a rebuilding year for the Lakers, even with their head coach out of the picture. In a way, the Lakers have hit the reset button on their season. Lucky for them, they are only five games in, shrinking the blast radius of the news, but they have a long road ahead of them to get this train back on track.
They have the talent to do so, but the removal of Brown will push this team to the brink early in the season, and I think it will take significantly more time to get this team on track. While I don't agree with the firing, I do think this team will get back on track and most likely make the playoffs. They're just too good. But then again, take a look at the 2012 Boston Red Sox...