The Los Angeles Lakers surprised some people by firing former head coach Mike Brown on Friday, but only because they chose to do it six games into the season. Most of us thought he would survive a bit longer, but very few believed he would last the entire year. If you ask Magic Johnson, Brown should have never been there in the first place.
During an interview with USA TODAY Sports on Sunday, Magic said Brown’s days in Cleveland should have shown the Lakers he was not a good fit.
“That’s the reason why Mike is out, because the Lakers are about winning championships,” Johnson said. “They’re not about waiting. Some people have complained, and said different things – no, he didn’t get a fair shake. The Lakers don’t give people fair shakes. It’s not about fair shakes. It’s about whether you can produce or not. Other organizations, they have time and patience because they’re not about winning the championships.
“We have to go back to history with Mike. Mike didn’t get it done in Cleveland. If he can’t get the championship done in Cleveland, having the game’s best player (LeBron James), how are you going to come to Los Angeles and win it? It’s just too bad.”
Johnson also offered an opinion as to why Brown has not been able to find much success in the NBA, despite coaching some of the game’s biggest stars.
“Mike Brown has one big flaw in his coaching: he does not make adjustments in game,” Magic explained. “That’s what killed him in Cleveland, and that’s what killed him with the Lakers. If you go back to every series that the Cleveland Cavaliers lost, and every series that the Lakers lost, Mike Brown did not make adjustments within the game. That’s it. Let’s keep it real. If we’re going to be real, then let’s keep it real. That’s his biggest flaw. It’s not preparation. It’s not his defense, before the game and getting a game plan together. It’s within the game.”
The interview took place before the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni, and Magic also said he felt Phil Jackson was the only man for the job. In any event, we knew Brown was a dead man walking when we saw the brutal stare-down Kobe Bryant gave him last week. L.A. may not have given him a lot of time with his new additions in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, but they obviously felt Brown was not going to get the job done anyway. A 1-5 start to the season simply confirmed what many already believed.