EL SEGUNDO, Calif. –– Despite generating criticisms from much of the media and fans, the Lakers introduced Mike Brown as their new head coach on Tuesday afternoon at their practice facility in El Segundo, Calif.
Brown, who was the head coach of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005-2009 and was named the NBA’s coach of the year in 2008, brings to Los Angeles a 272-138 record as a head coach. Although he attained much success in Cleveland during his five seasons with the Cavaliers –- even reaching the Finals in 2007 — the Lakers’ decision to hire Brown has not been a popular one among fans and media members.
Speaking for approximately 45 minutes during his inaugural press conference as the Lakers’ head coach, Brown addressed a number of questions, primarily about what changes he envisions for the Lakers moving forward and what what presence he hopes to bring to the franchise as the successor to 11-time champion Phil Jackson.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to be a part of the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Brown. “I have great admiration for the success that the Lakers have had throughout the years. I’m thrilled to death to be working with Mitch Kupchak. We all no by looking at this team that he’s done a tremendous job with this roster.”
“My goal is to help build upon a very strong championship foundation that has been laid he already. I’m here to help this organization carve our own path to success. My responsibility as a leader for the Los Angeles Lakers is to find a platform for this organization to achieve maximum success.”
“I will help define the culture, I will help define roles and I will hold people accountable. Our culture will be based on trust, communication, defense, no excuses mentality, family environment and a determined work ethic.”
While it has been rumored that Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant isn’t happy with the Brown hiring, Brown stated that he has talked with numerous Lakers, including Bryant, stating that the two have talked at length about everything from family to last year to what Brown has in store for the Lakers.
Brown did state that while the Lakers will run bits and pieces of the triangle offense –- as does most NBA teams — the Lakers will not run the triangle offense next season. Instead, the Lakers’ offense will be based on three aspects: 1) attacking the clock, ball reversal and getting the right spacing.
However, with Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom all available as viable assets on offense, the biggest concerns surrounding the Lakers going into next year will be there focus and success on the defensive end of the floor –- an area in which Brown notoriously specializes in.
With a new staff of assistants likely on their way in on the bench, Brown acknowledged that he does have a “list of
potential candidates to fill those positions, a list in which he and the team’s General Manager Mitch Kupchak will go over in the upcoming weeks.
In reference to the Lakers stability and mentality moving forward, Brown offered some positive words for the future of the oft-complacent Lakers team.
“[How his situation ended in Cleveland] makes me hungry and [losing] makes [the Lakers players] hungry too.”
“Whenever i do something it’s for the betterment of this team,” Brown said early in the interview.
Check back later tonight for video footage from today’s press conference.