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Report: Kobe Bryant “surprised” Lakers to hire Brown

May 25, 2011, 11:58 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Superstars are used to being consulted.

So the report of Kobe Bryant’s reaction to the Lakers being on the verge of hiring former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, from Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, says a lot about how this decision was made. And maybe about how it will be received in the locker room.

The source close to the Lakers told that Lakers star Kobe Bryant was “surprised” by the news, and that he was not a part of the decision-making process. Bryant had been a staunch supporter of Lakers assistant Brian Shaw for the position and remains as such.

We should note that saying Kobe is surprised is different than saying he is unhappy with the decision. It also doesn’t mean he will not be spoken to before ink hits paper on the deal. Still, he was not in the loop on the process. How he buys in will go a long way to determining Brown’s success.

Shaw represented the Lakers continuing with a similar style — of offense, of coaching — that they had under Phil Jackson.

Jim Buss and the Lakers brass clearly wanted a change in that. Brown is a big shift, an attempt to change the direction of the ship.

The question is how well that will work.

The Lakers don’t really need an Xs and Os guru — they have a lot of high basketball IQ players with Kobe, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Derrick Fisher, Andrew Bynum and on down the line. They have guys who know how to play, whatever the system.

What Jackson was able to do brilliantly was get those guys to play as a unit, to sacrifice, to win together. (Up until this season, when fatigue of mind, body and the message wore them down.) Can Mike Brown do that? He can bring in energy and push a defense-first agenda, but can he get them to bond and play as a unit the way Jackson has done (and did in Chicago before)?

That is the real question and the real risk with this hire.

  1. Milton Galfas - May 25, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Kobe is like last years toilet paper and rightfully so. He is a whiner and very bad clutch player. In the payoff he has had 121 attempts at game winning shots and made 6 while Lebron James has had 26 attempts and made 5. Obviously Kobe is a made by TV personality that sells NBA junk. I am sure that Jerry Buss is tired of losing embarrasingly with Kobe and will try to get as much for him in a trade as he can. He thinks he can get Dwight Howard but very few quality atheletes want to play under the plantation mentality of NY, Boston, Chicago, or LA. When the slaces named Lebron, Bosh, and Wade decided to go against the white plantation owners of the NBA even the Uncle Tom personalities like Chuck and Kenny went with their master against their brothers.

    Good for you LB, Wade, and Bosh.

    • loungefly74 - May 25, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      we have a winner! (of the dumbest comment of the week). i’m speechless.

      • worriormine - May 26, 2011 at 5:45 PM

        couldn’t agree more

    • cleareye1 - May 25, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      Pat Riley is black?

    • chargerdillon - May 25, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      Shaq??? Is that you??????? Is this where you’ve been hiding with your lil foot injury?

      Still mad the plantation owners took the younger and better deal over a guy who doesnt workout in the offseason or regular season for that matter?

      Absolutely spot on, dumbest comment of the week

    • krystle0618 - May 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      Wow! Can anyone say bandwagon fan! Seriously who are you to bash Kobe dnt hate him for being what you’ll never be!

    • andrejohnsonforpresident - May 25, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      Wow… Just wow..

    • wheng1266 - May 25, 2011 at 10:41 PM

      your comment is bad kobe get 5 rings already that why u shut up bbbb……

  2. pl4tinum514 - May 25, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    What planet are you from?

  3. jdhastings - May 25, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    I really really really really really hope if the Lakers hire Brown it means Pau will get Anderson Verejao’s haircut.

    I don’t know if Brown is the right coach for L.A. ,though I did think he was unfairly maligned for his time in Cleveland.

    It does seem strange they’d do anything that might even appear to alienate Kobe, though. Even if the front office has it’s mind made up, you’d think they’d explain that to KB before several league sources knew enough to leak it.

    Having said that, it’d be silly for Kobe not to buy in to his new coach at this point in his career. The main knock on Brown is that he allowed his star player to dominate the offense too much- something that should concern everybody on the Lakers BUT 24.

    I still have hope that Shaw finds a good gig where he can succeed, but it seemed clear that the team was moving elsewhere.

  4. craigw24 - May 25, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    I doubt even Phil Jackson could have done much more with the Cavs the last few years. The club and the management was far too single player centric. The Lakers have never been as ‘single player centric’ except during the unsuccessful years of the last decade.

    Now Mike Brown should get a real chance to coach a club. As mentioned by Kurt, the Lakers don’t need anyone to push them offensively, but they do need a daily infusion of defense at this point in their careers.

    If Brian Shaw doesn’t get any head coaching jobs, how about retaining him and setting him up as the lead assistant coach – in charge of the offense?

    • metalhead65 - May 26, 2011 at 8:13 AM

      we will never know what kind of job phil would have done with the cavs or the nets or the clippers or t-wolves or any of the losing teams because that might mean he would actually have to do more than spout his zen nonsense and roll out the ball to the most talented players on the planet. spare me your arguments I have heard them all before but you do have to wonder why kind of coach he would be if he had ordinary or no talent around him. a guy like Larry Brown may not have the rings phil does but he was not afraid of the challenge of trying to turn around a losing team and in most cases he did. he even won with the clippers for gods sake! wonder what he could have done if he had phil’s teams?

  5. florida727 - May 25, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    “Jim Buss and the Lakers brass clearly wanted a change in that. Brown is a big shift, an attempt to change the direction of the ship.”


    Seriously? In Cleveland, Brown’s offense was give the ball to #23. In LA, Brown’s offense will be give the ball to #24. Oh wait, I see the shift. You’re right. He went up one number. Yeah. Big difference.

  6. max - May 25, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    @ Kurt — I’m not a huge fan of this hire. I think Mike Brown will benefit from the Lakers veterans more than they will benefit from him. Also I love D-Fish please get his name right its DEREK not Derrick.

  7. cleareye1 - May 25, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Kobe is not an idiot, neither is Shaw. They will find a way to make this work.

  8. pepesmith88 - May 25, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Kobe’s picture is echoing his actual thoughts on the hiring of Mike Brown


  9. randysavage4ever - May 25, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    I am surprised too – I wouldnt wanna play for Mike Brown either…

    playing for Mike Brown?

    thats how you wake up in South Beach.

  10. silk32 - May 25, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    One “Brown” enters as another “Brown” is on his way out. Count down to Shannon Brown’s exit from L.A.

  11. themanchine - May 25, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Gasol for Stuckey & Charlie V. Stuckey gives them a young G to bridge to the future and add the missing athleticism in the backcourt, Odom replaces Gasol as the starting PF, and Charlie V takes Odom’s spot as 6th man. Also gives Bynum ownership of the post.

  12. tattooed1979 - May 25, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    since when does a millionaire like jerry buss need to consult one of his employees about a business decision? kobe bryant is a high school graduate. he is a millionaire because jerry buss and his consultants made a business decision to draft him onto the lakers team and they did it without needing any overpaid athletes advice. what is wrong with the world when athletes believe that they actually have a say in their employers decisions. they should keep their mouth shut, their opinions to themselves, and do the job they were hired to day and keep raking in the millions they are paid to do so. they are not partners, they are employees.

    • rapmusicmademedoit - May 25, 2011 at 6:23 PM

      you don’t know Jack sheet, the Hornets drafted Kobe as requested by Jerry West
      and then traded to the Lakers for Divac.

      brooklyn Laker fan

    • rapmusicmademedoit - May 25, 2011 at 6:24 PM

      and another thing, I bet you don’t have a problem asking
      Manning or Brady or any other white fellows, do you

  13. moshulu - May 25, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    &*%# Kobe!!!

  14. mogogo1 - May 25, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    I thought Brown got more criticism than he deserved in Cleveland. He’s not a terrible hire…just doesn’t seem like an inspired one. But, I don’t think Brian Shaw would have been an inspired hire, either. They had a whole year to prepare for Phil’s retirement and the final two candidates apparently ended up being an assistant already with the team and Mike Brown. It seems like they were scared of taking any chances.

  15. rapmusicmademedoit - May 25, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Eric Spolestra wasn’t a good coach either, he was going to be fired
    and now, he is on his way to the Finals.

  16. bhester1906 - May 25, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Milton Galfas that was by far the worst comment I have ever read. I’m ashamed to admit I read it actually. I feel a tad bid dumber after seeing that rubbish!

  17. mannyfresh209 - May 25, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    dont u think that hiring any one OTHER than the greatest coach of all time would be risky? at least they brought in brown who brings defense to the table. shaw was jackson’s puppy dog, and wouldve tried mimicing everything jackson did. it wouldnt have worked.

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