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Mike Brown still gets advice from Gregg Popovich

Apr 11, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown watches as his team loses in the fourth quarter during their NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix Reuters

A lot of Lakers fans like to remind Mike Brown he doesn’t have a ring — except that he does. He was an assistant on the Spurs when they picked up their 2005 ring.

Brown comes out of the Gregg Popovich coaching tree in the NBA. And before his Lakers team takes on the Spurs Wednesday (without Kobe Bryant) he said he and Popovich still keep in touch, reports the Orange County Register.

“Times get tough at certain times for me,” Brown said. “He’s probably the guy that I reach out to more than anybody else, and he knows me well enough to where if I haven’t reached out to him, I’ll see I got a phone call from him or a text from him. He’s been great for me — and not just for me, but for my entire family.”

“He still helps me out,” Brown said. “He’s just a real human being. He knows people very well, and that’s probably his strongest strength. He’s a terrific, terrific people manager. He helps me in a lot of ways, not only on the floor but off the floor in my personal life.”

They are different in coaching style — for example Popovich rested his big three where Brown had Kobe and Pau Gasol playing the second and third most minutes in the league, at least up to Kobe’s injury. Part of that is depth on the roster — Popovich has it and trusts it, Brown’s bench is a disaster and that is more about roster construction by the franchise than him — but part of it is a willingness to lose now if it helps later.

Brown is still the student, still with lessons to learn from the master. But we all need friends and advisors, and if you’re going to have one as an NBA coach not many better than the guy in San Antonio.

  1. spellingcopfather - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    Two guys over 42 texting each other, WEIRD!!!

  2. frozencajun - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    In Pop we trust!

  3. nolanwiffle - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Did Pop give him “advise” or “advice”? Come to the site for NBA news, stay for the butchering of the English language!

    • cosanostra71 - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      no one is making you read it. You can always go to ESPN, they do extensive editing.

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Thanks for the advise….I just may take you up on that.

    • davidly - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      You’re the only one I see misusing the word (below in your reply to cosanostra71).

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        A lot can happen between 9:07 A.M. and 2:01 P.M.

      • davidly - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        1) You questioned the appropriate use of a word and promptly misused it.

        2) I’ve seen too many cases from this author in which he was rightly called out on a typo or related matter and never bothered to correct it.

        3) See number 1.

  4. zxrated - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Pop’s bench is no better then the Lakers, remember Pop stayed the growing pain course early on in the season. The Spurs conceded games this year and the trust shown in those rookies and role players is now paying off in rotation depth. I just wish Brown could have stuck to that with the Lakers. Brown tried the developemental course early on but the Lake Show pressure and grumbling from veteran players were too much coupled with the lockout and his newness. Judging Brown and expecting a championship this season is unfair given the 2011 playoff mess he inherited.

    The biggest complaint Brown has conveyed all season, is not having a training camp or enough pratice to teach. Pop has been in SA with his system long enough to endure the lockout rigors.

  5. BigBeachBall - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Is Mike Brown “”tryyying” to get himself fired? Why would he say that he still needs the guidance of another NBA coach who he may see in the playoffs… Mike Brown is gone after this year… you heard it here first… he doesn’t have a good enough media game that is required at the top of the food chain…

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