Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Lakers Need a Coach Part II: Let's Alienate Our Best Player!

Someone apparently talked the Buss family out of bringing in Mike Dunleavy, Sr. as the Lakers new coach. This is good! You might assume Kobe Bryant weighed in and pointed out that Dunleavy is terrible. That does not appear to be the case. Why? Because of the following loaded portion the report that LA is 'very close' to hiring Mike Brown:
The source close to the Lakers told that Lakers star Kobe Bryant was "surprised" by the news, and that he was not a part of the decision-making process. Bryant had been a staunch supporter of Lakers assistant Brian Shaw for the position and remains as such.
Oh dear. Kobe Bryant has developed a polite public persona. The early chaos of the post-Shaq Lakers saw him put through the wringer. Leaving out the ugly situation in Colorado, Kobe had to figure out how to be the focal point of the team. He learned quickly how much Shaq had given him room, both on and off the court. He found out how dangerous the Internets can be. From these and other bad experiences emerged a new, media savvy face. He even knew to diplomatically and carefully criticize his teammates for their elimination game temper tantrums.

Kobe has learned how to be calm in public. Don't believe for a second he is calm right now. The Lakers did not just lose to the Mavericks, they were destroyed. There is no doubt Bryant was (quietly, privately) telling management either Pau works out his girl problems or plays somewhere else. What is the Buss family thinking? Are they still reeling from the Phil Jackson breakup and out of touch with reality? Kobe Bryant is their franchise. The Lakers will hit a tough hangover when he retires. It is in their best interest to keep him happy until that day comes.

Mike Brown is not a bad coach. The Cavs gave him a raw deal. His firing was a pre-emptive strike by Dan Gilbert to keep a flame lit with LeBron, all for nothing. Mike Brown could be a great fit for the Lakers. But Kobe wants to be heard, and he wants Brian Shaw. If he ends up with neither, the serene demeanor will not last.

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