The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 102-96 on Sunday night. More significant than that home loss, though, was what Mike Brown did in the fourth quarter. While the Grizzlies slowly but surely turned a manageable three point lead into an insurmountable double digit advantage, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant sat on the bench and watched his team get spanked.
Why was Bryant sitting on the bench while his team essentially gave the game away?
Mike Brown offered an excellent explanation after the game:
There are a lot of really great ways for a coach to exert power over superstars to make them fall in line. The one thing all those methods have in common, however, is that they are all applied at the beginning of a coach’s run with a given team. You can’t suddenly take an authoritative role -- with any player, much less Kobe Bryant -- and expect respect after enabling a superstar do whatever he wanted for an entire year.
Did Brown just create a big, unnecessary problem or himself? We’ll find out soon enough.