Before heading into an emotional game tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center that features the return of Derek Fisher, Lakers head coach Mike Brown continues to stand firm about his benching of All-Star center Andrew Bynum in the win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. This may have been a questionable call by the new head coach, but the right move in his opinion via Brian Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“I’m going to coach the team how I think I need to coach it. It’s as simple as that,” Brown said Wednesday after practice in El Segundo. “If I feel like I need to make a sub, then I’ll make a sub. If I feel like we’re not getting production from certain guys out on the floor — production the right way — then I’ll make a change. I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that.”
Even though Brown’s moves and roster changes have been highly questionable at times this season, it would be hard to argue that he hasn’t done a superb job with the Los Angeles Lakers up to this point. With an impressive 31-19 record and currently sitting in the third seed in the Western Conference playoff picture, Brown has done much better than expected.
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It is no easy task to take over for a coaching legend like Phil Jackson, and there will be no way that Mike Brown can even begin to be compared to the Zen Master, but he continues to keep this team well above .500 and firing on all cylinders heading towards the playoffs.
Despite the criticism given for the benching of All-Stars Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum in consecutive games, the Lakers head coach is not afraid to make bold moves and send messages to his star players. This is an admirable trait of Mike Brown, and should be something that is commended rather than criticized. Only the best head coaches around the league and throughout the history of the game make moves like these and stick to their guns after making them.
There is no telling whether or not Mike Brown will stand the test of time in Los Angeles Lakers like Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, but he has gotten off to a surprisingly good start filling in for a legend and could be in the City of Angels for quite some time if he continues to win basketball games and stand by his controversial decisions.