We are obviously only one week into the new NBA season, but Mike Brown’s seat already seems to be really, really hot. Despite the fact that his Los Angeles Lakers finally won a game on Sunday against the hapless Detroit Pistons, the team’s initial lethargic 0-3 start has apparently rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way. So much so, in fact, that there are questions being raised about whether he will even have the opportunity to finish out this season.
While everyone expected that L.A. would experience some growing pains as Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard all learned to play with one another, the expectation was that the growing pains would all happen on the offensive end. That isn’t how things have actually gone, though. The Lakers have been relatively okay on offense this year; the problems have all come on the defensive end. And seeing as Brown is supposedly a defensive specialist, that poses some obvious problems.
How bad could those problems ultimately get? Well, as reported by HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy:
Many within NBA circles believe it’s only a matter of time before Brown is fired. Jerry Sloan and Mike D’Antoni are two names that have surfaced as possible replacements for Brown.
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“Jerry Sloan to L.A. by December 1,” one league source predicted. “Nash and Howard are the new Stockton and Malone. He wants a ring, not to mention the money. He didn’t seriously consider Orlando, Charlotte or Portland [openings] over the summer because he knew Los Angeles would open up.”
So, is Brown’s termination imminent? Of course not. Even if the Lakers were to go on a lengthy losing streak, it is extremely unlikely that team brass would fire Brown during the season. Moreover, it is very difficult to see a coach as rigid and hard-nosed as Sloan is, being able to work with an equally rigid personality in Bryant and a renowned joker in Howard. The chemistry just doesn’t work.