UPDATE, Nov. 9 1:21 p.m. ET: Welp.
The Lakers’ 1-4 start has had fans clamoring for Mike Brown to be replaced as head coach, and with somewhat good reason.
While the team has given Brown a public vote of confidence, it seems that the time for being patient will come to an end should the team falter against an easy home schedule over the next eleven days.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com has the particulars:
An unsuccessful homestand for the Los Angeles Lakers, as they settle into Staples Center for the next six games, would put the job of Lakers coach Mike Brown in immediate jeopardy, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Lakers, while having publicly expressed support for Brown in the wake of a 1-4 start, have privately grown sufficiently concerned about the state of the team to the point that management is prepared to look seriously at a coaching change at this early juncture if L.A. can’t take advantage of what looks to be multiple winnable games in the upcoming stretch.
The schule during that stretch features home games against Golden State, Sacramento, San Antonio, Phoenix, Houston, and Brooklyn. Two out of the first three should be gimmes — although when we’re talking about a team with four losses in its first five games, maybe we should be a little more conservative.
San Antonio would appear to be a tough team to get over on, especially if coaching is indeed the root problem in L.A. when it would be facing the well-oiled machine that is the Gregg Popovich-led Spurs. Phoenix shouldn’t be able to pose much of a threat, and Houston and Brooklyn are hit or miss, but are also opponents who the Lakers should be able to flex some muscle against considering that loaded roster.
Ultimately, Lakers fans simply want the team to win games that it’s supposed to win; no one wants to risk upheaval at the head coaching spot without knowing who the Lakers brain trust might decide to bring in as a replacement.
But this report is good news for those wanting the organization to be as apoplectic about the slow start as they are, because it seems that now, either of the two possible scenarios in play — immediate improvement, or firing the head coach — would satisfy even the team’s most rabid fans.