With Mike Brown Out, What’s Next For The Lakers?

With Mike Brown Out, What’s Next For The Lakers?


Phil Jackson

The fact that Phil and the Lakers left on good terms is an indication that he is at the top of the list when it comes to head coaching candidates.

The only concerns here are Phil’s health, his salary demands, and the short notice. However, the ultra-competitive Zen Master likely doesn’t want to leave his legacy as an NBA head coach back in Dallas where his Lakers were swept in the second round of the 2011 playoffs.

Additionally, Phil cancelled a scheduled appearance he was supposed to make at a Chicago conference next week, just yesterday. It could be a coincidence, but I’m sure it’s not. At the very least, he was in the loop as to what was about to happen today, and couldn’t pass up a meeting with the Buss family and Mitch Kupchak. Is it a sure thing? Definitely not. But, he likely realizes the urgency of the meeting as well and had to at least entertain the possibility. Again, this is all speculation, but come on–there’s no way the Lakers didn’t at least call Phil to discuss the possibility.

One main question here would be: If Phil were to take the job, for how many seasons would it be? One? Two?

The answer to the question would surely coincide with the Lakers’ window of opportunity to win a championship (and likely the remainder of Kobe’s career), but the Lakers would have to sell Dwight Howard on a long-term plan as well for him to re-sign with the Lakers this summer.

However, I’m sure Howard would love the opportunity to play for the game’s greatest coach.

Another concern would be how well Nash would fit into the Triangle Offense. Nash didn’t seem like himself while trying to run the Princeton Offense, so it would definitely be something to consider.

For the 67-year-old, Phil’s health would likely be the biggest deal maker or breaker .

Notables as Head Coach:

  • Win-Loss Totals: 1155-485
  • Win-Loss Percentage: .704
  • Championships: 11

Jerry Sloan

Jerry Sloan has been the biggest name circling the Lakers over the past week or so.

After a shocking mid-season retirement from the Utah Jazz during the 2011 season, Jerry Sloan is undoubtedly looking for a fulfilling way to end his career as well. After spending 23 straight years on the Jazz’s sidelines while coaching two of the greatest players in Karl Malone and John Stockton, Sloan has yet to win a championship.

His hard-nosed approach and coaching style are normally seen as a benefit, but for a veteran team such as the Lakers with superstars and egos, it could prove to be a detriment as well. Deron Williams infamously had spats with his former head coach, and was rumored to be the reason Sloan ended up quitting.

I wouldn’t see it as too much of a problem, though, as Kobe Bryant would likely love the old-school approach. Players such as Pau Gasol perhaps wouldn’t.

Additionally, the pick-and-roll game between Steve Nash and Dwight Howard would likely be exceptional. But, would Kobe Bryant and/or Pau Gasol prefer that style of offense to a motion offense such as the Triangle or the Princeton Offense? Let’s not forget that fans lividly rejected the Princeton Offense and blamed much of the team’s struggles on Mike Brown, although it was actually Kobe’s idea in the first place.

Again, it would be hard to see Sloan coaching long-term, as he’s already 70 years old, but he could definitely help in the “win now!” aspect.

Notables as Head Coach:

  • Win-Loss Totals: 1221-803
  • Win-Loss Percentage: .603
  • Championships: 0

Next Page: Or will it be Mike D’Antoni or Brian Shaw?

  • santiago

    change starters nash,kobe,jamison,gasol,howard,use meeks and djo than blake its too early odom needs time to bulid confidence or get delonte west,phil can handle him for sure,we need to trade,get a versatile player like magette..

  • saadi saadi

    Well written article by Suki.

    My friend Dr. Rasheed Syed said the following below which I thought was interesting:

    Sad: A hardworking Coach Mike Brown is gone. What can anyone do when the results are awful despite so much energy spent and resources at disposal. This is Lakers land, we expect wins. I predicted him getting fired but not this soon.
    Happy: hoping for better change. This move can ONLY bring positive change in players (hopefully). They have to perform better. Phil Jackson is obviously #1 on my list.

    Sometimes players play bad and Coach(es) work(s) hard but gets fired!
    Who should be blamed for the Coach Mike Brown getting fired?
    1. Himself?
    2. Coaching staff?
    3. Team players? not giving their 100% in each game. (I am fascinated by Kobe’s strong hardworking spirit. He wants to win, he hates loosing games. I have highest respect for Kobe as a player.)
    4. Bad chemistry b/w players and coaches? or Unable to form the chemistry (homeostasis)?
    5. Management for hiring Mike Brown and doing experiment for Lakers?
    6. Fans reaction to “Fire Mike Brown!”?
    7. Scar from last year playoff against OKC Thunder?
    8. My favorite, “None of the above”.

    Message for any New Lakers Coach!
    Learn something from this year U.S Olympic games.(OKC Coach rocks!)

    If I were Coach, I would design plays for:
    2.D12/Nash separately.
    3. And sometimes mix it up.
    4. Go to guys not clicking, then use the bench players for 3-pointers shots.

    Defense is the going to be the biggest challenge this year for Lakers:
    Phil Jackson says, defense leads to offense.
    Mix old players with young players on floor.

    • Suki Thind

      Thanks for the compliment, as well as the input! Yeah, I think the most glaring thing about the team so far has been their lackluster defense. For a defensive coach, perhaps he wasn’t getting through to his players, which is the main reason I think he got fired. I do think it was too soon, but if they were going to fire him regardless, it’s best to have done it sooner than later. Unfortunately, it will set the Lakers back because a new coach will basically have to try and teach on the fly–just as Mike Brown had to do last season after the lockout. It will get frustrating for the players as well since they’ve been working so hard on learning the Princeton and coach Brown’s philosophies, only to have to learn new ones. I hope it all works out. I think they have to make a strong push for Phil, because swapping him for someone like D’Antoni–who doesn’t really have a great winning percentage–could produce the same type of skepticism among players. Lakers management seems to know what they’re doing, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

      • saadi saadi

        I agree.