Lakers always pursue ‘the best’

When Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak spoke about new acquisition Dwight Howard, Kupchak’s reasoning was simple.

“We got the best,” Kupchak said.

When the Lakers struggled to start the season 1-4, ownership and management decided they had seen enough of Mike Brown and he was relieved as head coach.

Brown, in many ways, got a raw deal.


Last year he coached without the benefit of training camp and practices, surviving the lockout shortened season.

Craving structure, Kobe Bryant and a number of veterans lobbied last year for a return to the triangle offense. It was actually Bryant who initiated the idea of the Princeton offense to Brown.

Even on the eve of a coaching change, Bryant was Brown’s biggest supporter.

From a very basic basketball perspective, the Lakers organization didn’t give Brown enough time for his plan to bear fruit. Take away the turnovers and the team’s offense was showing initial signs of success.


The record wasn’t impressive (1-4 at the time), but Brown had Steve Nash for less than two full games before injury. Howard and Bryant played in just one preseason game together.

There’s a list of reasons why the Lakers underperformed, many of which were well over Brown’s head. Instead, the Lakers took in their former coach’s performance as a whole.

If owner Dr. Jerry Buss didn’t believe that Brown was capable of bringing the team back to the contention, then the right call was made.

Buss has built a legacy on making the right plays, relying often on gut instinct above all. His track record individually is rivaled only by late-Boston Celtics legend Red Auerbach.


Perhaps the Princeton hybrid would have worked eventually. The Lakers weren’t going to wait to find out, not when they had clearly lost faith in Brown.

Instead they are pursuing Phil Jackson, falling right in line with Kupchak’s philosophy. The Lakers always go after the best.


Lakers’ coaching job appears to be Phil Jackson’s if he wants it


Lakers top the Warriors, 101-77, in first game without Mike Brown

General Manager Mitch Kupchak addresses the firing of Mike Brown
You can email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.