Ever since Phil Jackson retired in 2011, the Los Angeles Lakers have been in search for a long-term head coach replacement. With Luke Walton now at the helm, the Lakers belive they have their man to lead them back to championship glory.
Coincidentally, the man who replaced Walton as an assistant in Golden State, Mike Brown, was the Lakers first swing at replacing Jackson. Brown lasted just over one season in Los Angeles, compiling a 42-29 record, but never quite meshing with the team and franchise overall.
Brown is known for being an extremely hard worker and his attention to detail, something that served him well in his stops before Los Angeles. In an interview with Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News, Brown believes that his experiences with the Warriors would’ve helped him with the Lakers:
“That’s something I wanted to bring to the Lakers. They were a veteran team. They were used to doing things a certain way with Phil [Jackson] the years before and they had success doing it […] Looking back, in my opinion, if I would’ve had this job first before going there, it might’ve worked.”
Specifically, Brown praised Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s ability to read his team and do what’s best for them on that day, something he wishes he would’ve done in Los Angeles:
“Steve has a great knack for feeling the pulse of not only feeling the team as a whole, but as an individual. With the veteran group we had in L.A., they probably didn’t need all the stuff that I was giving them at that time, especially with the amount of time we spent trying to incorporate it with the team as a whole. So one of the things I learned is how to manage a team a little bit better, especially a team that has a lot of veterans on it and that already had success.”
Brown did note that he believes his time with the Lakers was still successful, pointing to the fact that they haven’t been back to the second-round of the playoffs since that season.
Overall, his coaching style just didn’t fit with the veteran roster of the Lakers, but it is great that he continues to learn and improve himself. Even though the Lakers haven’t experienced much success recently, it does look like they have their coach of the future now as Walton is one of the most promising young coaches in the NBA.