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Lakers to hire Mike Brown to be coach

May 25, 2011, 9:55 AM EDT

Cleveland Cavilers v Boston Celtics Getty Images

UPDATE #3 9:55 am: By the morning, pretty much everyone with an NBA source has confirmed this. The Lakers are going to make an offer to Mike Brown, maybe for three, maybe for four years. The only potential catch is that it is not really going to be a negotiation, if he doesn’t take the offer the Lakers will move on to Rick Adelman.

UPDATE #2, 1:11 am: Mike Brown has pulled himself out of the running for the Golden State Warriors job because he is about to be hired by the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area. He quotes several league sources as saying that Brown will be named as the Lakers coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo adds that the two sides may have worked out the money issue, with Brown getting a four-year deal at more than $4 million per year.

It appears this will become official later on Wednesday.

UPDATE May 25, 12:23 am: Money is the issue holding everything up, according to David Aldridge of, who says that Rick Adelman is still in the running due to money.

As PBT told you on Tuesday, the Lakers are holding firm on salary and will not go above $5 million a season. Brown wants to make more in the Doc Rivers range of $7 million a season, Aldridge reports. If he will not agree to the lower salary, the Lakers will move on.

While the Lakers have spent big on coaching during the Phil Jackson era, prior to that Buss was known for trying not to pay much for coaches. Remember he pulled Pat Riley out of the broadcast booth, in part because he would not have cost as much as some veteran coaches.

May 24, 11:17 pm: Mike Brown, the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach during much of their LeBron James era, may be the coach Lakers owner Jerry Buss was talking about when he said they were close to signing a new coach.

Brown and the Lakers are in serious talks, according to Marc Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo. As in the deal could be reached in the next 24-48 hours serious, the report says. Not finalized but this seems to be the direction things are going.

Brown is edging out current Lakers assistant Brian Shaw and veteran coach Rick Adelman to replace the legendary Phil Jackson.

That scream you just heard was from terrified Lakers fans.

But they shouldn’t be as scared as they are. First off, Brown is a defense-first coach who got his Cavs teams to play well on that end of the floor. That has always been the key for the Lakers with this roster, how well they played defense. And Brown won more than 60 games as a coach.

But that was not the knock on Brown, it was his offense. Which was always very LeBron James focused, with a lot of isolations for him. It looked stagnant. Thing is, what did you expect him to do? Did you see this season what they had around James? For a long time Brown’s starting backcourt was Eric Snow and Larry Hughes, so yes, he gave the ball to James a lot as a point forward. Even when he had Mo Williams and Delonte West are you going to take the ball out of LeBron’s hands? The Cavs often had the best offense in the league with that latter twosome. And those guys are not exactly all that.

The issue at hand is they are going from a system to a playbook. From a system designed to react to what the defense wants to a more rigid system where the players have less freedom to attack what the defense gives them.

Then there is the respect issue — will Kobe Bryant respect a guy who has not been through the wars and have the titles that these Lakers have. That Shaw has. Even Adelman has had great teams that might have had rings had it not been for Kobe and the Lakers.

Buss said he was not going to consult a player on the hiring of a coach (which is not the tradition, the issue is usually discussed with superstars like Kobe). But Brown seems to be the direction they are going.

  1. thetooloftools - May 24, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    If they don’t pass this job on to Brian… they get what they deserve.

  2. goforthanddie - May 25, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    I’m sure Kobe has no input.

  3. robertallen1958 - May 25, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    how bout Kareem?

    • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM

      All Kareem cares about is getting his statue. How narcissistic can anyone get? Geesh!

      What many people don’t realize is that any statues that go up outside the Staples Center are totally at the discretion of AEG (who own the Staples Center), not the Lakers. NOT by coincidence, all five statues that have been made and placed at the Staples Center are from guys and their agents who… yes, have strong links to AEG.

  4. volcom2143 - May 25, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Who is mike brown to command doc rivers money ??? I think brown is a huge mistake for the lakers . He hasn’t won anything or have a ring on his finger as a head coach . Just don’t get the rationale for this move .

    • hnirobert3 - May 25, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      Agreed. Nice guy and all, but you need a coach who is well rounded. It’s important to emphasize defense, rebounding, etc., but you need to be able to draw up offensive plays and come up with rotations that keep your offense moving, too. Ask Chicago fans who are now jumping off the Thibodeau bandwagon.

  5. Justin - May 25, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    Makes sense to hire a defensive minded experienced coach. I have a feeling Buss wants him until Kobe finishes out his career, unless he is a big flop, and then will go a different direction.

    • hnirobert3 - May 25, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      did you forget to reference your blog?

      • Justin - May 25, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        I didn’t intend to but if you wanna check it out just click my name and it will take you there

  6. jedifriedchicken - May 25, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    Buss pulled Riley out of the broadcast booth because he was too cheap to pay a veteran coach, and look what happened. SHOWTIME! Laker management has been pretty smart since Buss has owned the team. Have some faith. It’ll all work out.

    Personally, I was hoping for Adelman, but I think Brown would be good as well, considering he coached Cleveland to the best regular season for two seasons with LeBron the only player on the team worth a flip.

  7. mystereo - May 25, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    WORST COACH E-V-E-R! Watching the Cavs this year is the true indication of Brown’s coaching ability. He’s nothing without LeBron. Does anyone really think that Kobe is going to show any respect for this clown? Kobe will get Brown fired after one season. You heard it here FIRST.

    • Kurt Helin - May 25, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      For the record mystereo, Mike Brown was not the coach of the Cavaliers this past season, that was Byron Scott.

  8. henryd3rd - May 25, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Brown got a raw deal in Cleveland and hopefully this move will get his coaching career back on track. Cavs’ owner Gilbert’s desperate attempt at keeping LaBron had Brown sacked backfired. Even the team’s two lottery picks will not help this sad sac franchise. Gilbert showed such a lack of class so there little likelihood any future free agents will ever want to play there as well.

  9. danj3678 - May 25, 2011 at 9:49 AM


    • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 2:40 PM

      danj… As soon as this if officially announced, I’m going to have a really good laugh too! Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!

      What makes this news especially sweet is that out here in LA it’s already being widely reported that both Kobe and Fisher strongly disapprove! Tsk, tsk! (ROFLMAO!).

      Talk about a team making a full 180 degree turn! Brown is the “anti-Phil” if ever there was one.

  10. gracerefuge - May 25, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Hey, Brown took Cavs to first place finishes with a choking LeBron and very little other talent. Old Triangle system is stale, so it’s time for something new. Now get us couple shooters off bench and we’re in it again.

  11. omniusprime - May 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Hiring Mike Brown would be a massive mistake, he just is another vastly overhyped coach who always fell flat at the most important time of the season – the playoffs. Jerry Buss must be getting senile or something if he pulls this boner out of retirement where he belongs and lets him coach one of the two flagship franchises in the NBA. I won’t be happy as a longtime Lakers fan if Jerry lets this garbage coach sit on the Laker’s bench. I already know what Brown can do for us Lakers fans, lose, lose, lose in the playoffs after winning a bunch of regular season games. What a joke that he’s known as a defensive expert, the Cavs never played solid defense when the going got tough in the playoffs. Bring on Brian Shaw as he deserves his chance to coach the Lakers after being such a loyal assistant for so many years learning the craft under Phil Jackson, the greatest coach of any sport of all time!

  12. chargerdillon - May 25, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    I’m stunned and disappointed as a Lakers fan. My only thoughts on this is that Kobe must want a yes-man coach who’s going to bend to his whim much like he did with Lebron James.

    So very disappointed……….I can think of 10 coaches id rather give a chance to, even college coaches who’ve never coached the pro’s id rather give a chance before Mike Brown.

    I dont know any Cavs fan who didnt think that Mike Brown was an idiot…. so so sad

  13. mister12 - May 25, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Before Phil became Phil and you became whoever/whatever you are, somebody had to give you an opportunity. Let Coach Brown have his “day in court” before we convict/confirm his inadequacies.

    ~ Lakers Die Hard Fan
    since ’85

    • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 2:42 PM

      Perhaps, but before Tim Floyd showed the world that he truly was Tim Floyd, he left three organizations in shambles.

    • 00maltliquor - May 26, 2011 at 1:38 AM

      AMEN! Well said mister12, I for one am actually pumped on having Brown be our coach. I was kinda pulling for Adelman, and dreading Dunleavy, but i’ll take Brown. The triangle has IMO ran its course and the team needs something new to stimulate and re-new them. I feel bad for Shaw but i just can’t see the Lakers continue running the triangle. They just seemed burnt out on that and need something new plus need a swift kick in the ass on defensive strategies as they the tools to be a superior defensive team. Only time will tell, but so far it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. GO LAKERS!!!!!

  14. loungefly74 - May 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    he does have good pedigree coming from Pop’s system. I would like him to have a chance. he is a player’s coach, the kind to let kobe do his thing but keep a strong stance on defense, etc…

    • purdueman - May 25, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      “Good pedigrees” apply mainly to horses and show dogs.

  15. habibthomas - May 25, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Mike Brown, take the 5 million dollars or whatever the Lakers give you, I dont know who you think you are but this is a once in a lifetime chance. you should be thankful the Lakers even noticed you

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