Mike Brown’s ineptitude when it comes to earning players’ respect was apparent from day one. While everyone generally acknowledges that the former Coach of the Year is one of the top defensive minds in the league, the biggest character flaw that he has -- besides his questionable offensive strategizing -- is the fact that his guys, both in Cleveland and in L.A., seem really prone to not listening to him.
During Tuesday night’s showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and shorthanded, hobbled Golden State Warriors, Brown once against put his dysfunction-inviting style on full display when he benched Andrew Bynum for taking an ill-advised three.
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While Bynum has rightfully gotten a lot of flak for that stupid “jumper,” the more relevant question folks should be asking is why he would take it in the first place. Guys that respect their head coach’s authority don’t take those sort of shots, plain and simple.
More to the point, though, why did Brown bench him for it? Isn’t it a little late in the season to play these stupid games?
(Bynum’s benching, of course, came just a game after Brown benched Bryant in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ last outing.)
At this point in the year, all playoff-bound teams are focused on is building momentum and establishing chemistry. Needless benching to solve an unsolvable problem is the basketball equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
The players don’t respect Brown like they should. He knows it. The players know it. We know it. Fixing that now is impossible.