Mike Brown Signs to be Lakers' Head Coach
The Lakers have found their new head coach in the post-Phil Jackson era: Mike Brown.
Reported by ESPN's Chris Broussard, the former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach will receive a four year, $18.25M contract that allows him to return to the sidelines after taking a year off since being fired by the team a year and a day to the date after the Cavs were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs, which ultimately led to the ill-fated decision of LeBron James departing Cleveland to join the Miami Heat.
In five seasons with the Cavaliers, Brown went 272-138, and led them to the 2007 NBA Finals, where they ultimately got swept by the San Antonio Spurs. He also won 127 games in a two season span as the head coach, going 66-16 in 2009 and 61-21 in 2010. However, the Cavs lost to Orlando in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, and as mentioned earlier, lost in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Celtics. The Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to post back-to-back 60-win seasons, but not reach the NBA Finals.
During his time away, Brown was an assistant coach for his son's middle school team, allowing him to enjoy his family. He then signed on in December 2010 as a NBA analyst for ESPN, but also was looking to return to the sidelines. He was one of the lead candidates for the Golden State Warriors' head coaching position, due to his defensive strategy and mindset, which also drew the interest of the Lakers. While Brown is hailed for his defensive mind, he comes under criticism for the offensive side of the ball. Thep lus for him is that he has more talent to work with than he ever had in Cleveland with the Cavaliers. Although LeBron James is a massive talent in his own right, he did not have much else beside him.
Brown's focus was on both the Warriors and Lakers jobs due to his ties to the West Coast. Now he has the highest profile NBA coaching job. The spotlight will be on him, and if he can manage to keep Kobe Bryant happy while implementing a new scheme. How will this work out? Only time will tell.