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

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


Mike D’Antoni

Here’s another option at which Lakers fans are licking their chops. Everyone has seen what D’Antoni did for Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns, and how his Phoenix teams put the Lakers out in two consecutive playoffs (2006 and 2007).

D’Antoni would possibly be the best fit for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard offensively, but what about defensively?

Kobe Bryant clearly respects D’Antoni as he played for him during the Beijing and London Olympics where D’Antoni was an assistant coach. Not to mention that D’Antoni was Bryant’s favorite player when he was growing up in Italy (he used to wear #8, which Bryant has said is one reason he used to wear #8 early in his career).

It would be hard to imagine these aging Lakers running a “7 seconds or less” style of offense, but D’Antoni would likely figure out a way to make it all work. I think Kobe would be intrigued at any offensive system he decides to implement.

Additionally, I feel that D’Antoni would be the best candidate to get the bench scoring efficiently and productively with his run-and-gun style. Players such as Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, and Devin Ebanks would do exceptionally well, in my opinion, and Antawn Jamison would surely perform better than he is now.

His defense, however, would still have to be proven, but if he chooses a solid defensive minded assistant coach, that could solve the problem. Nate McMillan, maybe? I actually like that idea since both were assistant coaches at the Beijing and London Olympics and could harmoniously co-exist.

At 61 years of age, D’Antoni is as experienced as he’s going to get and still has years left in him as a head coach.

Notables as Head Coach:

  • Win-Loss Totals: 388-339
  • Win-Loss Percentage: .533
  • Championships: 0

Brian Shaw

Alternatively, the Lakers could decide to somewhat gamble with Brian Shaw. Shaw obviously has the respect of Kobe Bryant, and he would bring the Triangle Offense back to Los Angeles. Although Shaw isn’t proven as a head coach, Lakers management is very familiar with him. Should they decide that the Triangle is best for the Lakers but cannot convince Phil Jackson to return, Shaw could be their man.

Obviously, Shaw is currently under contract with the Indiana Pacers as an “Associate Coach,” so he would likely have to be released somehow. I wouldn’t see that as much of a problem because teams often allow assistant coaches to interview with other teams while still under contract because they understand how hard it is to land an NBA head coaching gig.

Although they would hate to lose an assistant coach, no one would blame him for wanting to take a job of a lifetime.

At 46 years of age, Shaw isn’t much older than Mike Brown, but if the Lakers decide they want to run the Triangle now and even after Kobe retires, Shaw would definitely be the best candidate.

Notables as Head Coach:

  • Win-Loss Totals: N/A
  • Win-Loss Percentage: N/A
  • Championships: N/A (2 as assistant to Phil Jackson)

Next Page: The Final Thought

  • 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.