Bold Even by Lakers’ Standards

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Lakers hired unknown Mike Dunleavy to coach a contender, went with green Pat Riley in a similar situation, scored a coup by choosing the very available Del Harris while all others passed and let Magic Johnson take a test drive. There is no such thing as predictable with that job on that team.

Mike Brown succeeding Phil Jackson is a surprise, though, and not because Brown has a history of playoff flameouts or owner Jerry Buss loves flash and Brown definitely is not that.

The real issue in the critical moving-forward moment for the Lakers is the sudden absence of continuity that players had desired and maybe even needed, knowing the roster needs to stay in win-now mode and cannot afford a season of transition. That familiarity, that consistency was the biggest selling point for the Brian Shaw candidacy and why the Buss family might turn to a rookie head coach in the latest sideline gamble. Rick Adelman, another contender, at least had run a similar offense that would have reduced the 2011-12 learning curve, and he has extensive experience. (Lakers fans respecting Adelman and maybe even wishing for him as Kings fans miss Adelman: Hello, bizzaro world.)

Brown in another freeze frame could make sense – the Lakers don’t play a speed game anyway in one important synchronization of roster and coaching style, he has been under the heated lights of working with (for?) LeBron James and he stresses defense. He has worked in the glare of great expectations. It’s easy to see the Buss case. But timing is everything and L.A. needs this to work right away, if not sooner.

The window-of-opportunity thing would be a big deal no matter what, except that it becomes a monster deal if the lockout hits and then drags on long enough to where the 2011-12 schedule goes into the wood chipper like the last work stoppage. That resulted in a 20-second timeout of a training camp and a 50-game season with occasions of three games in three nights, a move away from the usual policy of nothing more than two in a row because so many contests had to be crammed into so few dates. Now imagine the Lakers jumping into a lightning round while switching to a new system as the coach learns to work with them, and that’s apart from whatever adjustments could come from roster moves.

“We’ll worry about that one then,” Derek Fisher, one of the leaders of the pro-Shaw camp, said when the potential scenario was suggested a month ago, before the Lakers had been swept out of the second round by the Mavericks. He added: “I would hope we largely have the same team” and, “It would be a pretty smooth transition with Brian.”

The lockout, if it happens and depending on how long it lasts,  means this is no ordinary Lakers’ coaching change. It could be that there has never been another like it, as strange as that sounds, with Kobe Bryant and Fisher, in particular, in no position to swallow hard through a lurching 2011-12. They need something that feels seamless.

They just got bold.

48 Comments

  1. sugar mama says:

    who are you kidding, the lakers are no good. Koby is a person that love to hog the ball, and always want to be the best on the team, but you need to give someone else a chance, and then you might win a game

  2. Antonino says:

    I agreed with wtf, If someone is to be changed that one is LO because to get a talent you must give away talent and the most expendable in Lakers right at this mom is LO… What about a change like this LO and DF for Westbrook????

  3. DeJuanne18 says:

    The Chumps days is over.. better convince dwight to come and help you, just like what you did to Shaq..

  4. Cha says:

    If a LA buys into his system, it wouldnt be much of a surprise if I see them in the Finals

  5. AusRob says:

    Howard won’t go to the Lakers unless Kobe’s coming in return, and not on his own either (since he’s at an age now). Let me explain why.

    1. The Magic’s goal, like every other team in the league, is to win a championship
    2. The closest they’ve come to that goal in recent times is losing in the NBA Finals
    3. That loss came at the hands of the Lakers
    4. The golden rule of trading is to never trade away a player who could one day come back to bite you

    So why would Orlando discard their best player and best defensive player in the league three years running to a team who, as a result of the trade, could easily become championship ready?

    I’ll say this once and for all – trades in real life are not like NBA 2K. You can’t just punch a couple of players in anywhere, get a green light and expect the same thing to happen in real life. Teams like to trade for equal value, and they always like think they’re the ones who got the tall end of the stick. Unless you get Kobe + something else, there’s nothing that LA can offer to make that worthwhile.

  6. Yael says:

    FACE IT, “KOBE” IS THE PROBLEM. HE’S SELFISH. i don’t hate kobe I JUST HATE THAT ATTITUDE.

  7. jan says:

    cp3/howard/kobe – d new big three. defense and offense combined!

  8. kobe4mvp says:

    how about this trade here: artest + money = stephen curry

    curry, kobe, odom, gasol, bynum

    i like how curry plays, good facilitator, young legs, high basketball IQ. He’d make a good fit into the system and can learn tons from kobe before kobe retires.

    i’ve loved kobe my entire adult life and only watch basketball cause he’s playing but it’s a little sad to see how much his game has diminished because of age. the fella has to work so hard to get his 25 a night, not like lechoke who can get 30pts purely off dunks and FT’s. i’d like to see kobe retire on top and not like MJ who played his last game for a subpar wizards team.

  9. mike says:

    LA need a playmaker ! sorry Fish but u’re too old :(

  10. Dean says:

    All I have to say is that my boys will REALLY have to play DEFENSE next season! I would like to have seen B-Shaw get the nod…but it’s true! The LAKERS should shelf the triangle! Other teams have figured out how to defend it. KOBE’s gonna be much stronger next season…with the added rest…afterall, he was in the top 4 MVP voting votes…even though he should have been second or third. To all you Queen James fans…KOBE still has more rings than Queenie has Finals wins…oooh! ZERO! And I’m pretty sure that’s the way it’ll be when the Mavs hand Maimi their butts! Queenie will quit half way through game 1…see ya next year in the Finals, Boston!

  11. K-ROB3K (Spurs fan) says:

    It’s gonna be interesting to see what happens…..

  12. CeCe says:

    I hope Mike Brown works out. I am a Laker fan for life, regardless. I want Dwight Howard in LA!!!! THey should give Orlando Bynum and ARtest for Howard – straight up trade; I would also like to see the Lakers go after CP3.

  13. stevO3 says:

    stfu Lakers haters. we proved you wrong twice by winning back to back title. The truth is you can’t win all the time. Sometime you lose sometime you win. That’s why Celtics and Lakers are far better than the rest of NBA teams. We might be going fishing early next season, but we are always be there to challenge for the title unlike other teams. In my opinion, Lakers need speedy PG(a must) to build this team better chemistry. There are teams I don’t like especially Celtics, but I am not hating or being happy when Celtics is failing or Miami. I am neutral. The most important thing is I only care about Lakers. I want any team there for Lakers to compete. all the Fans should cut those BS and only focus Basketball instead of being haters.

  14. Moshe says:

    this is my prediction for next year
    fisher will not be in the opening five
    Blake will not be in the lake rs
    Luke Walton will have to leave Barnes will not be there either
    the lake rs need a guy like Westbrook or someone else as fast as him
    the lake rs should shoot in less than 14seconds every possession
    that means running fast

    i am not worried about rebounding
    and the most important thing is that the lake rs should have fire in their eyes and heart which they did not have this season

  15. Jerid says:

    Im a Laker’s fan and have been since I was a kid and it was sad to see the Lakers swept by the Mavs. Hopefully Coach Brown will get the guards to play some better perimeter defense and maybe get some of these guys to rebound! Im not ignorant and I am not going to say that the Lakers are the champs of 2012, but if the right moves are made anything is possible. I love D-Fish, especially after he hit that buzzer-beater against the Spurs in ’04, but I think its time that we got a new starting point guard. Also I’ve never heard anyone mention this but why not trade Pau Gasol for LaMarcus Aldridge? I know Pau has been a key player in the system but after his performance in these play-offs, when he pretty much quit on us, Im starting to seriously question his resolve. LaMarcus Aldridge is young, talented big man that can spread the floor with his jumper and he only seems to have more potential to be a superstar. The only thing I would question are his rebounding and shot blocking skills but that’s why the Lakers now have Mike Brown to lead the way. Well hopefully everything works out in the off-season and go Lakers!

  16. King6 says:

    you see all the Fakers fans reacted against the decision of Fakers Management,…hahaha!! seriously there should be changes on their team, every team now are concentrating on the defensive side,…offense is perfect already for them,…its just that defense had gone on their system,…Brown will instill on these Lakers players on how to play defense, it will be good for them i guess,..and add one piece of a defensive minded and ofensive player as well, the Lakers will get by it sooner,…accept the fact that every succesful team, it runs through changes and coaching is part of the whole process, and lets give the man a chance, besides Jim Buss made his decision then respect it. We will complain direct to his table after if it doesnt work,…see you New Lakers next season!

  17. chefj says:

    Getting Howard means giving up Bynum or Pau. I’m willing to live with that decision.

  18. chefj says:

    Really??? Odom was the most consistent Laker in the playoffs folllowed by Artest. Pau got soft AGAIN, bench was horrible, and Kobe is definitely a few steps slower and weaker than he once was. Fisher should be coming off the bench and if you really think that Dwight Howard is coming to LA without another player (CP3, D-Will) you are crazy!!!

  19. alex says:

    kobe+c.paul+d.howard+gasol+baynum+ championships tropies

    • gary says:

      might as well get griffin, love and rose while you are fantasizing..and .maybe mj in his prime

  20. M1978 says:

    It’s not the coach that really matters. In my opinion it would have been really hard to find anyone equal or near equal to Phil Jackson. Lakers definitly need a refreshment. Kobe has still 2-3 good years before he gets too old, but he is simply not enough to get the team a ring if he is surrounded by weak players. It would be the best if the lakers discovered why Gasol and Odom were so extremely weak in the playoffs. I think Bynum had shown a sufficient performance while Derek Fisher grew old and Ron Artest dissapeared…

    So the Lakers better get two or three young and talented players to replace Fisher, Artest and maybe Odom. If they fail to do so they will fail on getting the championship title either.

  21. markLAL says:

    just sign n trade for howard and cris paul we havw enoug cap room for 3 max player but for sure they want less money for the elusive ring

  22. mield says:

    NICE ARTICLE SCOTT ………….. LA FANS TAKE ALOOK AT THIS http://sportales.com/sports/miami-heat-the-2011-nba-champions/

  23. heatNOThate says:

    goodluck on your fishing LAKERS! looks like next season you’ll go fishing early again.. LOL

  24. heatNOThate says:

    @NICK i almost spill my coffee reading ur comment… thats what u call stupidness, kobe with a great coach in phil didnt get it done, and u will say LA will be champs again? wow, im selling a functioning brain nick u want to buy one? maybe u need to rephrase ur sentence into “whoever their coach is, its ok, because Kobe dont care about the system and plays, as long as he has the ball and he scores”,coz your kobe is a ballhog.. thats more realistic than saying Lakers being champs 11-12 and beyond coz they are done..

  25. FATOMIX says:

    MEN IT’S CRAZY EVERYBODY WAS WAITING FOR BRAIN SHAW AND I THINK THAT WAS THE PERFECT DECISION FOR THE LAKERS TO HAVE THE SAME COACHING STAFF BECAUSE THEY BEEN TOGETHER FOR A LONG TIME NOW THEY WILL HAVE TO LEARN FROM A NEW COACH, IN MY OPINION IS NOT GOOD HE DOESN’T HAVE A PERSONALITY TO COACH THAT LAKERS TEAM, BECAUSE IF YOU TAKE A LOOK FROM WHAT HE DID WITH THE CLEVELAND IN THE FINAL AGAINST THE SPURS THE TEAM LOST BECAUSE OF HIM SO, BECAUSE OF HIS DECISION. SO LAKERS FAN NEXT SEASON WILL BE LEARNING AND ADJUSTMENT SEASON WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT IT BECAUSE KOBE IS GETTING OLDER, HE DOESN’T HAVE TO MUCH GAS LEFT IN HIS TANK SO THEY NEED TO TAKE ANY ADVANTAGE OF THAT. WELL I’M AFRAID TO SEE THE LAKERS TEAM THAT WE LOVED TO WATCHED PLAY THE WAY THEY USED TO

    GOOD LUCK MIKE BROWN

  26. Ice Pogi says:

    @NICK
    You mean to say Lakers getting swept again in 11′-12′ and Beyond??? Hahaha If Phil Jackson the facilitator of Triangle Offense… Which has a record of 11 Rings didn’t Get it done …. How do you expect a new coach would even outdone that… Triangle is lakers main offense and it’s been proven effective… It’s not the coaching… It’s their execution…. It means “kobe”
    Lakers will be a contender again if they get a new franchise player…. Let’s say Howard since you’ve been craving for him or Chris Paul… Definitely not Kobe the Black MAMA… Kobe can’t compete on much aggressive players like DWADE…. Or James…. you should be worry If Howard didn’t landed in La la land…. Your hopes are done…. co’z L.A. getting No Where…
    It’s Nah nah Gone!!!!! Enjoy the Summer…. LOSER………….

    • Nick says:

      So by mentioning Wade and LeBron the way you did, does that mean you are a Heat bandwagoner then? LOSER!

      • Santana says:

        Well every coach is better than spoelstra. what system does he use. the pat riley system

  27. Surinam says:

    It doesn’t matter which coach is on the bench, but are the stars of a titlecontender coachable ? If that’s the case with Kobe, Bynum, Gasol, Odom and the rest of the crew, I think MB will have a good chance to success. But with all the respect for Derrek, and I really think the Lakers can use his experience, the Lakers will have to look for some talented young blood to give their offense some more speed !

  28. Steven says:

    @ Lakers are the team (is anyone else struggling with the reply function?): hahahahahahaha I apologize for being a child but re-read your second sentence dude (shat will he do). Anyway I think they may have made a mistake no hiring Brian Shaw, but I think any new coach is going to be a difficult transition for this team. They have a lot of talent though so they’ll figure it out.

  29. Sunsman says:

    Maybe in the background, Jim & Jerry Buss have worked out a deal with Shaw to run the offense and keep the triangle with Brown coming in to change the defensive scheme of the team.

    OR maybe, management realizes that the triagle is broke with Kobe getting older and more banged up, and are looking for a new offensive system which Shaw wouldn’t be able to provide – this also points to why they let Rambis walk a couple of seasons ago.

    Either way, most of the Lakers are young, only the starting guards are breaking down. So unless they get an effective PG to keep infront of opponent points Lakers will have trouble. Neither Fisher or Blake are able to do that, and Brown has too many mental lapses.

  30. NICK says:

    Mike brown , hubie brown , brian shaw, rick adhelman, jeff van gundy…. Really doesnt matter when you have KOBE bryant on your team… plus the addition of pau gasol and lamar odom (maybe even deron williams) .. Kobe is the greatest basketball player we will ever witness and he will bring champions to the city of los angeles with whatever coach because he has the will… we will miss phil jacksons greatness but mike brown wont hurt with his great defensive skeems! … NO WORRIES LAL CHAMPS 11′-12′ AND BEYOND!!!!!!!!!

    • ... says:

      Clearly it matters even with Kobe, seeing as they flopped out even with the best coach in the history of the game, lol.

      • Dean says:

        At this point…I’ll say even the BEST coach in the history of the game looked a little tattered…retirement couldn’t come at a better time!

  31. allaround baller says:

    Next season will be the last for this squad. So they need someone new but experienced. Shaw is acceptable but Lakers wont get better. Kobe need to shut his ego and listen to brown’s new approach. What will he do anyway? You can’t count on his solo game. Ugly offense on dallas show that he’ll getting worst against more defense minded team. Not to mention miami and chicago. Bye bye champion

  32. WTFBROWN says:

    THE ONLY ONE THEY SHOULD HAVE CHANGED IS DEREK FISHER AND LAMAR ODOM THOSE GUYS SUCK

    • godincred says:

      Are you serious!? its obvious you didnt see not even one Laker game this season. LO is an all-star and they dont give 6th man of the year to a “guy that sucks”. Start seeing more basketball instead of posting useless comments

      • Nick says:

        He’s not an all-star and never has been. There were no standout 6th men and that’s why he got the award. When it matters most, he chokes and does nothing. How much did he contribute in the 2 championships? Less than Ariza and Vujacic 2 years ago, less than Bynum, Farmar, Artest or even Fisher last year. He only plays well when the whole team does.

      • Sigh says:

        I agree Lamar is no all-star, but don’t sit there and tell me that he can’t change the momentum of a game. I’ve seen countless times when the Lakers are sleeping and L.O comes up with a monster play. Like Fisher, he won’t always score but he’ll change the game when needed.

  33. Absurd says:

    Wow, Scott, where’d you learn to write? This article is unintelligible.

  34. argel says:

    i want brian shaw!!!!!! triangle offense is still the best 4 my lakers!

  35. EmJay23 says:

    Mike Brown is taking his talents to hell.

  36. Lakers are the team says:

    @ we want adelman. Kind of agree with you buddy. Mike Brown is known to be a great defensive coach. The question is: shat will he do with the Laker offense, which is a big part of their game! Honestly, though the best coaches were already tied up with contracts. My personal choice was Byron Scott; who’s tied up with a flailing Cleveland team! Too bad. Mike Brown is as good of a choice as anyone; with the coaches that are available. Give him a chance! Who knows. He did pretty well with Cleveland!

  37. LAKERHISTORY101 says:

    I think the lakers will have to get used to mike brown. I agree with what lebron said about mb, ” the lakers goty a great coach

  38. we want adelman says:

    good job lakers prepare for a great regular season and to knocked out in the second round again hired a coach that is a choker and doenst know how to make good and quick adjustments hopfully your talent can bail you out lakers

  39. AusRob says:

    I think the Labour talks won’t take all that long… it’s easy to look at the NFL and see it drag out, but without ignoring the fact that the NBA is a business I don’t think it’s as money-hungry as the NFL, at least if Madden video games are anything to go by. The trickiest bit is working out arrangements for all the small market teams, however the NBA does have some leverage with the performances of OKC and Memphis. Unfortunately on the flip side you look at the high order of the draft and plenty of those belong to small market teams. But as I say, it’s easy to look at the NFL but I think that’s more due to both sides being stubborn and waiting to see who will blink first as August draws closer. I think Stern & Co. are a lot more prepared to get a deal done.