Why fire Mike Brown five games into a season when he had his new, expensive, high-powered starting lineup for just one game? And not all of training camp.
It’s not something from those five games alone, it goes back longer than that. Longer than preseason. If Lakers management didn’t think Brown was right for this job, they should have fired him last summer. That’s when you make your sweeping changes, not mid-season when the new coach is behind the 8-ball trying to catch up. Firing a coach five games into a season is admitting you made a mistake before but didn’t want to correct it then.
Lakers management wasn’t being proactive, they reached for the panic button. Proactive would have been making a move in July.
I can appreciate the argument why this was the right move in a big picture way — the Lakers were in full win-now mode following getting Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to go with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
If you want to say that the Lakers looked ugly — with turnovers and sloppy defense — in their 1-4 start, you’d be right. If you want to say Mike Brown might not be the right coach for this group of players, I’m not even going argue with you that much. If you want to say he couldn’t turn it around, you could very well have a point.
But then you don’t let him plan all summer and hire new lead assistant Eddie Jordan to bring in the Princeton offense. You don’t watch in silence as he spends all training camp working on said offense.
And you don’t watch him start the season then decide it’s time to pull the rug out from under him. I still think this had to come after some push from the players, but that doesn’t make the timing any better.
To give Mike Brown just five regular season games, one with his full starting five (following a training camp loaded with injuries), then decide he can’t do the job is just an overreaction. A knee jerk reaction to a problem that they didn’t solve over the summer. This is not the kind of reaction we expect from the Lakers, who are generally proactive and well thought out. They are patient and smart, but this was neither. (Actually, the really smart move would have been to hire Rick Adelman instead of Brown, but that ship has sailed.)
Brown may have had to go, but that should have happened months ago if it was the case. So the question remains: