Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Lame Duck Coach?

With news reports saying that the hiring of former LA Lakers coach, Phil Jackson is almost certain, it raises a few of questions for me. Was Mike Brown set-up to fail? Was he lame duck coach? Did the Lakers have any real intentions employing him full time?

Was Brown set-up to fail? I think Brown was set-up to fail. The 2011/12 NBA season was shortened due to a labor dispute. That is why Jackson retired. I really think the Lakers needed a fill-in coach. Someone to hold the fort until the situation was right to court Jackson.

Signed Bryant Photograph - & Phil Jackson 8x10For what it's worth, Brown did take the Lakers to the second round of the playoffs. That was with an injured Kobe who under-performed due to that injury. It still wasn't enough for Lakers fans. They wanted Brown fired. They got their wish on Friday.

Was Brown a lame duck coach? Yes. If you follow my reasoning or attempt at reasoning above, you have to believe that Brown was just filling space and it wasn't even for a full season. The team was 1-4 and the Lakers hit the panic button. I think that the Lakers felt it would be a good time to knock on Phil's door.

The team is in win now mode. That's how they're set-up. With Kobe at the tail end of his career and newcomer Dwight Howard only committing to this year, the Lakers couldn't take a chance on a lost season. My guess is that their sources knew the same thing that ESPN  and other news network sources knew. Jackson wanted to return and he's healthy. He's also been following the team.

Did the Lakers have any real intention of employing Brown full time? I really don't think so. I just made the arguments explaining my reasoning above. Some people might be asking why the Lakers didn't just tell Brown that and hire him on an interim basis. I'm sure that would have gone well had the team sat him down and said "you know mike, we don't think you're the guy for the job long-term. We just need a warm body on the sideline until we can approach Phil to return". You know what his response would have been?

I might be way off in my approach to this article and  that wouldn't be the first time but I think the mock discussion above was how the Lakers felt about the decision to hire and fire Mike Brown. I believe that the Lakers had the intention of bringing back Jackson as soon as possible.

As mentioned above, I feel that the team was waiting for the right time. They waited for the fans to express their wishes and then the decision to fire Brown and reach out to Jackson as an easy one. The problem with the Lakers approach to this is that it didn't fool anyone.

In the end, I believe that Brown was a lame duck coach. Like many lame duck presidents who ride out their terms doing nothing, a lame duck coach is just there to be a breathing mass who has no real authority and is biding time. Unlike a lame duck president who knows what's happening, Mike Brown probably didn't know he was a lame duck coach until it was too late.

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