|Was Mike Brown the right guy for the Lakers to hire?|
Today, the Phil Jackson day's are officially behind us, as the Los Angeles Lakers have found their next coach. Mike Brown, who spent the last year being an NBA analyst for ESPN, after being fired from the Cleveland Cavaliers will be the 22nd coach in Laker's history.
Right now, the initial contract is a four year deal with an option on the last year, worth a little more than $18 million.
In Brown's previous tenure with the Cleveland Caviliers, he coached five successful seasons, helping turn the already great LeBron James into an established superstar. Under Coach Brown, LeBron won back to back MVP awards in 2009 and 2010.
It was also in 2009, that Brown won the Coach of the Year award, helping lead the Cavs to the best record in the Eastern Conference. Under Brown's resume also includes a trip the NBA Finals back in 2007.
Before coaching the Caviliers, Brown was an assistant coach under Greg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs.
The other candiadates for the job including Kevin McHale, Rick Adelman, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Brian Shaw, who is an assistant coach for the Lakers.
Brown is known to be a defensive-minded coach, which should help the Lakers. We know the Lakers can score, having one of the best offenses in the NBA, but what really hurt them this year was the offense. Dirk Nowitzki dominated the Lakers in the playoffs this season, and before him, Chris Paul put on a show before being eliminated by Los Angeles.
The Lakers are known for running their triangle offense under Jackson. Brown has said that he would like to keep the ideas of the triangle offense but modify it a little. When with the Spurs, Coach Popovich ran a similar triangle oriented offense that Brown is familiar with.
So why did the Lakers choose Mike Brown, over favorites like Brian Shaw, Rick Adelman, and Jeff Van Gundy.
Although Brown has not won an NBA title before as a head coach, the Lakers feel that he will have the best long term impact on the Lakers. Like Phil Jackson, Rick Adelman is also old, and probably wouldn't be able to help the Lakers transition, once Kobe Bryant leaves. The Lakers didn't feel Brian Shaw would be the right guy, because they wanted a coach with previous Head Coaching experience. And for Jeff Van Gundy, he definitely has the brains to run the Lakers but Van Gundy doesn't fit under the Lakers' system.
The biggest questions that Brown needs to answer for the Lakers is if he can help them win a title in the near future, while Kobe Bryant is still playing, and can he help the Lakers stay as one of the best teams in the NBA even when Bryant leaves.