Mike Brown Understands High Expectations
I'm really starting to like Lakers coach Mike Brown.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: While I was skeptical at first that Brown could lead the Lakers to a championship, the offseason moves made by management has turned me into a believer.
Every great coach that has created a legacy has done so with the help of a great player. Or in the case of today's NBA, great players, plural. Red Auerbach had Bill Russell, Phil Jackson coached Jordan, Kobe and Shaq, Popovich won championships with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and company, and so on. You get the picture.
With an older Kobe Bryant not exactly enough to win a ring, the recent acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash have made the Lakers a legitimate title contender. But now there are a lot of expectations for the purple and gold; like the saying goes, "with great power comes great responsibility."
The main reason I'm really starting to like Coach Mike Brown is because no one understands this better than him.
In a recent interview with Brian Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com's Land 'O Lakers blog, Coach Brown not only spoke on his understanding of the high level of expectations for his team but how he enjoys the bar being set so high.
"That's what I like about this job," he said. "The level of expectations we have as an organization doesn't sit with just making the playoffs. Every year, ownership and management want to compete for a championship. As a coach, I don't know why you would want to be put in any other situation, unless you're just happy getting a paycheck or being a coach in the NBA. I want to be put in a situation where year in, year out I have an opportunity to win. You know? In my opinion, that's my dream and should be the dream of anybody that's a competitor. This situation warrants that."
First off, I love this statement and kudos to Brian Kamenetzky for getting it.
Secondly, coach Brown is speaking about something that many people in positions of power often lack: accountability.
Brown understands that the business of basketball is simple. It's about winning. Period. And it's very hard to win if you don't have the best resources. In today's NBA, it's all about who has the best talent. The big threes as they call them are dominating the game. You can be the best coach in the universe but be unsuccessful without the best players.
Last year Mike Brown didn't have a big three. He had a great but older player in Kobe Bryant , great potential in Andrew Bynum, and decent resources around them in Gasol, World Peace and a sleu of role players who at times, had their shining moments.
As a coach in Cleveland, he had the best player in the game today in Lebron James but that wasn't enough to get him a ring. (On a side note, I'd be willing to bet that Mike Brown had a large part in shaping the player, and now the champion, that Lebron is today).
But this upcoming season, Brown has the resources. His starting line up could be Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. I mean are you serious? That is what you call a recipe for success ladies and gentlemen. And my favorite part about Brown is that he knows that and he won't accept anything less than a championship.
That doesn't mean it's going to be easy. The greatest coaches usually have the greatest players but it's up to them to put the pieces together properly. So there is going to be a lot of pressure on Brown to execute this season. Because if he doesn't, I guarantee his career as Lakers head coach will be fairly uncertain.
For now, however, I really like and respect where his head's at.
Interesting fact about Mike Brown: His .658 career winning percentage is the third highest among active coaches behind Tom Thibodeau (.757) and Gregg Popovich (.680).
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