Blog Entry

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:16 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 8:27 pm
Report indicates Mike Brown to be hired as the next head coach of the Los Angeles LakersPosted by EOB Staff


Update: 8:17 p.m. 

The Los Angeles Lakers have issued a statement confirming that the team has reached an "agreement" with Mike Brown to serve as the team's next head coach. 
"In response to rampant speculation and reports about our head coaching position and Mike Brown, we’ve met with Mike and are very impressed with him.  In addition, we have an outline for an agreement in place and hope to sign a contract within the next few days."'s Ken Berger reports the deal is for four years and $18.25 million.

The Associated Press notes that Brown will be the 22nd coach of the Lakers and that Jim Buss, son of owner Jerry Buss, led the search process without consulting any of the Lakers players, including Kobe Bryant.
Rather than promoting one of Jackson's assistant coaches, the Lakers are changing course after an abrupt end to their two-year title reign and the long-anticipated departure of Jackson, the coach with the most championship rings in NBA history.

Although Kobe Bryant endorsed Jackson assistant Brian Shaw for the vacancy, Jim Buss - the Lakers' executive vice president of player personnel and the son of owner Jerry Buss - became intrigued by Brown after Saturday's interview.

Bryant and his teammates apparently weren't consulted during the coaching search, and Bryant declined to comment on Brown's hiring Wednesday when reached by the Los Angeles Times. Bryant publicly supported Shaw, his former Lakers teammate, but the two-time NBA finals MVP also said the Lakers should find a coach who believes in hard-nosed defense.
Bryant reportedly was "surprised" by the hiring.

On Wednesday, LeBron James, who played for Brown in Cleveland, offered his endorsement
"I think it's great," James said in Miami, where he's preparing for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"Mike Brown is a great coach," James said. "He brought us success that we hadn't had before in that city, and it started with his defensive concepts. He brought in a defensive mindset that we didn't have. Fifty-plus wins, he was coach of the year, he got us to the (NBA) finals, won us the Eastern Conference finals ... because of him and his coaching staff. I respect him. He definitely helped me become who I am today."
The AP also noted that Brown is known as being a defensive specialist. 
Brown's background in defense apparently intrigues the Lakers, whose last two title runs were built on sturdy defense led by Bryant and 7-foot shot-blocker Andrew Bynum, a favorite of Jim Buss. Brown is a former assistant to San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich and Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who employed Brown as his defensive coordinator in Indiana when Lakers forward Ron Artest was named the NBA's top defensive player in 2004.
Brown, 41, coached the Cavaliers from 2005-2006 to 2000-2010, winning 50-plus games in four of those five seasons. He took the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2006-2007. He was named the NBA's Coach of the Year in 2009 but parted ways with the team in the early summer of 2010, shortly before All-Star forward LeBron James left the franchise to play for the Miami Heat. Prior to his time in Cleveland, Brown was an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

His name first surfaced with regard to the Lakers position last week. Other candidates included former Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman, Lakers assistant Brian Shaw and former Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy.

Update 4:06 p.m.:
Ken Berger of confirms the deal is done in principle. 

UPDATE: According to Ken Berger of, the Lakers and Mike Brown are finalizing negotiations to make him the next coach. "It's close," a source said.

Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area reports that the Lakers will hire Mike Brown as their new head coach following the retirement of Phil Jackson. Steinmetz reports two sources confirming a four-year, $18 million deal for Brown. Previous reports had Brown close to a deal following owner Jerry Buss telling reporters that the Lakers were "very close" to a new head coach. 

Brown brings plusses and minuses, as he is a stellar defensive coach respected by veterans like those the Lakers have. Conversely, Brown is also a questionable offensive coach, relying on offensive assistants for help in that area. He is known as a key motivator, which the Lakers could clearly use after a lackadaisical season. But there are questions about his ability to wrangle stars after the way LeBron James dominated the situation in Cleveland. Now he faces an even more ego-heavy locker room.

There was talk the next Lakers coach would have to take a pay cut, and should the report be accurate, this is a considerable cut from what Jackson made last season, and even more so from the extension Jackson signed before the 2009 season.

There will be questions as to why Rick Adelman was not given the job, but Brown is a capable coach who fits in well with the veteran Lakers squad. It's a move for both stability and change, just what Buss was looking for.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this article. 

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:42 pm

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

Mike Brown can coach and he does know how to handle players.  What I hope he can do is stay clean.  There is alot going on in LA unlike Cleveland.  The zen master Phil Jackson left his wife when he got to L.A. and snatched up Jerry Buss's daughter.  Phil did get some more hardware so maybe Mike needs to find that golden goose.  Good luck Mike Brown you can do it.

Since: Jan 19, 2011
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:03 am

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

Hey SILVERTEX, can you speak english please? I am sure what you said in spanish is as about as worthless as it is in english though. I have one word to describe the Mike Brown hiring, DEFENSE. The guy obviously knows how to handle star players (Lebron James) while at the same time turning them into defensive studs. If the players in LA buy into Browns defensive philosophy I could see the Lakers right back in it next year.

Since: Jun 26, 2009
Posted on: May 28, 2011 6:10 am

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

Minchia che faccia da pirla che c'ha Mike Brown!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Mar 19, 2011
Posted on: May 28, 2011 5:08 am

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

so true man.  give the guy a chance.

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 10:35 pm

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

What does this have to do with slavery???? Have you ever heard of Jim Crow or the Freedom Riders of 1961? Get real!!!

Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:13 pm

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

keyboard coach's all think they can do better. lets see you tards take over a team and win.i bet you would fail miserably.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:29 pm

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

Mike Brown has huge choppers.  We'll see how he does, he did win CoY award before.  But arguements can be made that he had James running the show.  With a talented roster like the Lakers, I would expect another good season from them with or without Mike Brown.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:29 pm

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

Would frankly have preferred Adelman as his offense appeared to fit the Laker players extremely well. Mike Brown is very much younger, however, and if he works out he could have a long tenure with the Lakers. It is true that Brown has been heavily criticized during past playoffs for his failure to make any adjustments on offense. He just continued to run isos for LeBron. Perhaps the larger reason for Cleveland's failure in the playoffs, however, maybe that outside of LeBron the team's rotation was not all that talented. Perhaps Brown should have received more credit for his successes during the regular season. With his emphasis on defense, Brown was able to get maximum performance out of his Cleveland teams. Very much like San Antonio this past season, those Cleveland teams had their weaknesses exploited during the playoffs.

Mike Brown appears to be a stand up guy, a good communicator who can work well with a veteran team. He will certainly improve the Lakers on the defensive end. It remains to be seen how he will do on the offensive side of things. If Brown works out, it will be a big win for Jim Buss. However, I do not think that this is as large a gamble as many are making it out to be. 

Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 12:09 pm

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

What I told people after the Lakers were bounced from the playoffs was that the Laker coaching job would be one of the most challenging for any coach, whether it was Shaw, Adelman, Van Gundy, whoever, because of a multitude of reasons: (1) you're following a coaching legend who produced 5 rings for the team, (2) you have an aging super star, and (3) the expectations are greater than any other team - its championship or bust in LA.  None of the coaching candidates have been in this situation before, so I didn't see any particular advantage any of them had.  Shaw was the natural inclination, simply for the fact that, as an insider,  he has a better understanding of the team dynamics than anyone else.  Although the Jackson formula seems like it has been successful to those of us on the outside, Laker brass is looking to change things up.  They clearly felt it was more important to deal with the club's complacency than to have someone who had insight on the situation.  Whether that is the best call or not, we'll see; but that is the call ownership made, and as a lifetime fan I respect that.  I, for one, am not at all concerned that Kobe had no input, or that he was in favor of Shaw.  Kobe would have been just as much of a challenge for Shaw as anyone else.  The bottom line is that Kobe (in his own words) must "fall in line." He and Brown will have their moments, but as we all know, Phil and Kobe had plenty of moments.  Brown just has to understand that it comes with the territory and keep his, and the team's, focus.  In sum, I too was "surprised" by the hiring; but, I also am very excited about the change and the new energy and perspective Brown will bring.

Since: Mar 23, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:49 am

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

I don't know about listening to the players.   give them too much control and then you lose discipline.   Look at the Pckers...Favre started to think he ran things.  I guarantee the Pakcers don''t win a super bowl last year if Ted Thompson listened to that miscreant!

Kobe has some character issues as well....and unfortuantley for Mike that team is in for a rebuilding period...too old and too slow....they need to bring in some young talent - fresh legs

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