It was always a matter of if not when with Lakers former head coach Mike Brown. General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced at a press conference at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo this morning that 9:30am, to be exact, on Friday November 9th, 2012 was the when.
The reasons were painstakingly clear why today was the day Mike Brown found out what he certainly knew already
- 1-4 start to the season
- 1-12, including the pre-season
- The so-called “Princeton” offense, failing
- 13th ranked 97.2 pts/gm and 19th in pts allowed w/ 98.8
These facts are not news. They are well documented, thus it was not news that Mike Brown was fired.
On November 1st we asked the question “Which coach will be fired.” Mitch Kupchak left little suspense 8 days later.
In his press conference, Mitch Kupchak identified the two reasons why the decision was made was the Lakers win-loss record, and there was no discernible improvement on the offensive or defensive end. He and Jimmy Buss did not want to see if that would change.
That’s why Mike Brown was fired–he was set up to fail. The facts of the start of this season just made the decision that was already made long ago, announced today. The Lakers did not want Brown to fail, they were just expecting it.
He was a big enough name to hire after Phil Jackson painfully walked into the Montanan sunset, but you can’t expect shoes that big to fit the next guy so easily. Knowing full well the difficulty of trying to replace the greatest coach in American professional team sports (Kupchak and the Buss family tried before), Mitch Kupchak knew the next guy to sit in Phil’s tall seat was going to be and stay a hot seat. Rudy Tomjanovich, if for no other reason than health, and various Lakers assistants couldn’t do the job then either.
This leaves the Lakers free to pursue whoever they really desired to be on the bench in the first place. Mike Brown is the fall guy, and now the players will be motivated by the new voice in their ear, whoever that is.
The question is, did they make the inevitable choice too soon? Will Bizarro Superman tire of this new voice before the season is over? 77 games plus playoffs if all goes to the front office’s master plans, would be a lot more listening than Dwight Howard is used to doing.
Best of luck to Mike Brown, who by all accounts is a standup guy. He’d be a terrific assistant, or could coach a top college program; but he was not the right guy for this job, provided the team he was coaching was right.