May 31, 2011, 8:16 PM EDT
Mike Brown’s first press conference as the Lakers head coach — and that’s official now, he signed the contract Tuesday — was really pretty uneventful. A lot of coach-speak.
A lot of things about family, about him defining the culture and holding people accountable, about this still being Kobe’s team, about Brown trying to be himself and not Phil Jackson. All the things you’d expect him to say. He said it with the Buss family (except for Jeanie) sitting in the front row.
But there were a few things that became clear.
One is that is already reaching out and trying to sell this veteran team. He has already spoken with Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Ron Artest, and has tried to reach Andrew Bynum. Most importantly he has spoken to Kobe Bryant.
“I’ve talked to Kobe by phone a few times, by text and we’ve also already met in person at length,” Brown said. They talked philosophy and family, Brown said.
That philosophy starts with defense. Brown’s philosophy should fit well with the Lakers big men can do – shrink the floor and defend the paint, don’t give up middle drives and contest everything.
On offense Brown said he wants to harken back to what was done when he was an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio when they had Tim Duncan and David Robinson. Those twin towers worked well together and Brown thinks some of that will work here. He said there will even be some triangle sets.
But there will be some changes. Brown wants to push the pace, then in the half court work inside out with good ball reversals. Those are things the Lakers have done within the triangle when they were playing well, but too often got away from.
That pace and spacing the floor may mean some roster changes. The Lakers need a real point guard, they can’t hide Derek Fisher as the triangle initiator anymore. They need better athletes and shooters.
But that is down the line. Right now he is still busy selling himself and his philosophy to his new team. That’s the first step, building those relationships is what really matters long term for his and the team’s success.
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