After the Los Angeles Lakers fell to 1-4, owner Jim Buss took some time out of his busy schedule to give Mike Brown a vote of confidence. After all, Mike Brown was his hire. So what did the Lakers’ owner say exactly?
"I have no problems with Mike Brown at all," Buss told ESPN Los Angeles. "He just works too hard and he's too knowledgeable for this to be happening.”
"So either the system is flawed or something's going on. Or, like the Triangle, it's very hard to pick up and understand. I'm not a basketball mind like he is or the players are, and the players are fine with it, so I just have to be patient."
Jim Buss coming out and saying this is not a good sign for Mike Brown. Often, a vote of confidence is the final signal that management is getting involved, and the next step, usually, is for management to fix the problem.
However, the Lakers aren’t going to make a coaching change unless they can get an improvement. So, who’s out there?
Phil Jackson: As crazy as it sounds, it may be time to go back to Phil and ask him if he’s interested in a third stint with the Lakers. Jim Buss would have to swallow his ego to make this change. When Buss signed off on shipping Andrew Bynum out of town, Buss showed he can ship "his guy" out to improve the team. If Phil is interested, fire Mike Brown today.
Kurt Rambis: Rambis was an assistant coach under Phil Jackson. Know what that means? These players know Rambis. He can bring back the triangle, and he’s a safe choice who is not too far removed from Kobe and Pau.
Brian Shaw: When the Lakers hired Mike Brown, Kobe wanted Brian Shaw. B-Shaw is a players’ coach, and no matter which guy the Lakers get, Kobe needs to buy in. Right now, Shaw is an assistant with Indiana, but the Lakers may be able to draw him away with an offer of being head coach.
Jerry Sloan: One league source predicted that Jerry Sloan would be the coach of the Lakers by Dec. 1. Pick and roll, hard defense, and a hall-of-fame coach. If the Lakers want to get a name that automatically inspires respect, Jerry Sloan is it.
Regardless of whether the Lakers ax Mike Brown or not, something needs to change soon. If Mike Brown doesn’t perform on this upcoming home stand, Lakers fans would take any of the options listed above. If you want to keep your job, Mike, it may be time to drop the Princeton and just let the talent play basketball.