Just days after Jim Buss assured Lakers Nation that he, Mitch Kupchak, and Jerry Buss were 100 percent behind Mike Brown, the Lakers fired their head coach.
Fans universally called for Brown’s departure after a win-less preseason and a listless 1-4 start to the regular season, and it appears as though Lakers’ management agreed.
So, what exactly does this mean for the Lakers?
Normally, when head coaches are fired mid-season, an assistant coach takes over for the remainder of the season until a definitive decision can be made in the off-season. For instance, Bernie Bickerstaff will take the helm for tonight’s game.
However, that is not going to happen.
Well, for one, these are the Lakers. When they get rid of someone–player or coach–you better believe they are looking to upgrade.
Secondly, the Lakers fired Mike Brown after just five games.
Initially, I thought that firing him wouldn’t be the best move because a new coach and system would have to be implemented, discouraging a team that’s worked hard all training camp to learn a new system, a new coach for many of them, and each other. Plus, I figured it wouldn’t help the campaign to re-sign Dwight Howard.
However, Lakers management saw something they didn’t like–such as a coach they didn’t think could lead this team to an NBA championship–and acted quickly.
Additionally, at just 42 years old, Mike Brown was likely initially hired for the long term. However, with the short window of opportunity for this Lakers team, perhaps the learning curve and patience ran out for management.
Always a franchise willing to do anything and everything to please their fans, perhaps the constant demanding of a new coach helped with management’s decision.
Who Will Take Over?
As I stated above, the Lakers continually manage to upgrade their personnel. Usually it’s players who get swapped out, but right now the Lakers are looking for a clear upgrade at the coaching position.
So, who’s on deck?
Rumors have swirled of Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Mike D’Antoni, and Brian Shaw–to name a few.
I’ll tell you one thing, though. Jerry Buss is extremely fond of Phil Jackson, and if he, Kupchak, and son Jimmy agreed to fire Mike Brown (who Jim was fond of), they certainly contacted the Zen Master first. He’s the only coach on that list with championship experience as a head coach (11, to be exact), and the Lakers are clearly looking for someone experienced and trusted.
Next Page: Will it be Phil Jackson or Jerry Sloan?