The Los Angeles Lakers made a bold move on Friday morning when they decided to fire their head coach in Mike Brown after a rough, 1-4 start to begin the season.
The Lakers are already exploring their options for a new head coach while Brown chows down on Chick-fil-A, as they could bring back someone like Phil Jackson maybe.
Miami Heat star LeBron James has been with Brown for the earlier part of his career when he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers and doesn’t think the firing was fair at all. James thinks Brown wasn’t given a “fair shake.”
“I think it’s unfortunate,” James said Friday, according to ESPN Los Angeles. “I just don’t think he got a fair shake, honestly. With the shortened season last year, and five games into this year, he didn’t really get a full season.”
Brown was originally hired over the Lakers controversially over the locker-room favorite in Brian Shaw, who was Jackson’s assistant. Shaw recently said that he had no comment on the Lakers’ situation on Friday, as he plans to remain the assistant head coach with the Indiana Pacers this season.
Brown helped the Lakers reach the playoffs last season in the shortened, 66-game lockout year. However, the Lakers would end up losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the semi-finals. With a rough start to the year, the Lakers fired him. Not only was his game-plan struggling, but a lot of the players lost their trust in their coach.
Similar things happened to Brown in his last season with Cleveland, as the Cavs got knocked out by the Boston Celtics early in the playoffs. This led to James leaving along with Brown being fired, despite being the most-winningest coach in the team’s history. Many believe that Brown and James had problems in their last season, but it appears that the three-time MVP has all the support for him.
“I’ve got a lot to say, but I’m not going to say it right now,” James said. “I wish him the best, but I just think it’s unfortunate and it’s just, you know, how the league is. They can do what they want to do.”
Erik Speolstra understands Brown’s situation. They both basically went down the same path to become head coaches in the NBA, starting out as video coordinators.
“When you see one of your coaching peers, one of your fraternity, not get an opportunity, that’s tough,” Spoelstra said. “Mike is an excellent coach. He has proven it. He has got an excellent track record. It’s a shame that it came down like that.”
Spoelstra also had a rough start when his squad turned into a superteam, as it had many expectations. The team ended up starting 9-8 and had many struggles throughout the year, eventually falling to the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the NBA Finals. The team had similar problems in the second season, but were able to overcome them with a Finals win back in June.
“Looking at our situation, it was something much, much different,” Spoelstra said. “We had patience. The stability comes from Micky [Arison] and Pat [Riley]. They were thinking big picture the whole way. There wasn’t a panic, even when we were 9-8. I felt great confidence from them, but it needed to be said. All we needed was to get our hands dirty, get to work and figure out collectively how to get out of that hole.”
The Lakers were able to win last night in their first game without Brown, pummeling the Golden State Warriors in a 101-77 victory.
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