Brown, 41, became the front-runner because Jim Buss, the team’s executive vice president of player personnel, was impressed with his defense-minded style.
Former Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman also was in the mix for the job and will remain a candidate to replace Phil Jackson if Brown turns down the deal from the Lakers.
Jim Buss, who had a reputation as a playboy in his younger days, runs the basketball side of the operations while his sister Jeanie (outgoing coach Phil Jackson’s girlfriend) runs the business side of the Lakers. Jerry Buss still has the last say on everything, but his role is greatly diminished. He did not even attend the Lakers victory parade last year, instead being spotted playing poker in a local card club. Still, it can be a little like Kremlinology to figure out who is running what inside the Lakers organization. This is a clear sign.
Jim Buss also made the call to hire Rudy Tomjanovich last time Phil Jackson stepped away from the organization. That ended poorly, with Tomjanovich leaving midway through the season and eventually Jackson having to be brought back to calm season ticket holders. The good news is that Brown has already coached in a high-pressure circus and should be better prepared for the Lakers gig in that sense.
This hiring is not sitting well with Lakers fans, who remember Brown’s stagnant offenses in Cleveland. Things were not as bad as they appeared there, that was a matter of the players on the roster around LeBron James to a degree. Still, the execution of the Xs and Os was an issue under Brown before.
But Jim Buss wants him, so he is the man.
Byron Scott: Lakers made me feel ‘betrayed, lied to and deceived’
Scott said he “felt betrayed, lied to and deceived” by former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and former executive Jim Buss. Though he had only two guaranteed years on his four-year contract, Scott contends that Kupchak and Jim Buss previously promised him they would exercise the team option for his third year. Scott also believes the Lakers used him to manage Bryant during his final seasons and farewell tour before making the coach a scapegoat for the franchise’s struggles.
“If I asked him to do certain things, Kobe would do it because of his respect for me,” said Scott, who mentored Bryant during his rookie season in 1996-97. “Basically, you just wanted me there to help you guys get through the next two years, so Kobe doesn’t go crazy on you guys. I would be the one that can handle it. They know me. I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to be intimidated by anybody.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if management said something Scott could have reasonably interpreted as a promise to keep him. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Scott heard what he wanted to hear.
The Jim Buss Lakers didn’t always feature the best lines of communication, and Scott was delusional.
Either way, the Lakers did the right thing in firing Scott. If he were hired to manage Kobe Bryant’s final seasons, Kobe retired. There was no more need for Scott, who neither related well to young players nor implemented a winning scheme – pretty much everything beyond handling Kobe.
The strangest part of Scott’s criticism is how it reflects on Kupchak, who has now been accused of both being too dishonest and too honest.
Tony Parker tells French publication he plans to return in January
Back on May 5, Tony Parker has surgery to repair a ruptured left quadriceps tendon, an injury some thought could be career ending for the 35-year-old point guard.
He plans to be back and is aiming for January, he told the French publication L’Equipe, as transcribed by EuroHoops.net.
“I will play my best basketball when I return in January”, Parker told L’Equipe….
“The first thing that came in when I got injured, was frustration. I was super good and we had the chance to go until the end and get the title,” Parker said.
“The coach’s plan worked like a clock. I was consistent, playing for twenty to twenty-five minutes per game. My series against Memphis was good and I had a good start in the season,” he added.
Paker’s return in January (if he can meet that timeline) will have him coming off the bench, meaning the Spurs will still need a starting point guard and some depth at the position.
No, that doesn’t mean Chris Paul is coming to San Antonio, that was always a long shot as Adrian Wojnarowski noted. It’s not like the Spurs to kick guys like Parker to the curb (Bill Belichick does not run the franchise) nor do the Spurs gut their roster, and that’s what they’d have to do. Beyond that, Paul is president of the players’ union and one of the things he/the union got in the new CBA was to turn the over-36 rule (which restricted how much LeBron could get on his last deal) to the over-38 rule — meaning the Clippers can give 32-year-old Paul one more five-year max deal. You really think he’s walking away from that?
Hopefully, when Parker returns he can give us all glimpses of his old self.
Steve Kerr says he’s not ready to coach in NBA Finals, at least not yet
Steve Kerr has been a regular presence at Warriors practices, he’s traveled with the team to playoff games, he’s been part of the planning/strategizing sessions for the team — basically, he’s been everywhere but the sidelines.
He’s not ready to return there. Yet.
Interim Warriors’ coach Mike Brown was knocked down by the flu on Monday, so Kerr ran the Warriors practice then spoke to the media, but said he still is battling issues from his back surgery and is not ready yet to return to the sidelines. Via Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Kerr says he has made no final decision about coaching #Warriors in Finals 'but as of right now I will not.'
The Warriors brought in Mike Brown last summer just for this type of situation — he’s a veteran NBA coach who has led a team to the Finals (the Cavaliers, with LeBron James), and the Warriors thought it possible Kerr could miss time. With Luke Walton in Los Angeles, Golden State wanted a veteran on the bench. Brown is that.
He’s not as creative as Kerr is addressing matchups and challenges, but if Kerr is in the film sessions and practices, then his influence is still there. That may be enough for a more talented and more rested Warriors team (than a year ago) heading into the Finals starting Thursday night.
Stephen A. Smith, who has incorrectly predicted last six NBA Finals, picks Warriors