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: Aug 5, 2007
Posted on: May 25, 2011 3:18 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

That is what I have been saying the last three years.

Since: May 6, 2009
Posted on: May 25, 2011 2:27 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

Brown, 41, coached the from 2005-2006 to 2000-2010, winning 50-plus games in four of those five seasons
Brown didn't play. He coached. He didn't win those ball games. He hasn't won any of those. He advices the players to do certain things and execute those plays. Coaches are there to give them advice about what they are doing wrong and what they should do. The players are the guys who execute the plays and makes the plays. They make the shots and play defense.

 He took the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2006-2007
Wrong.....Lebron and supporting cast took the team to the Finals.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: May 25, 2011 2:23 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

JBANK<<<<Lebron failed??!! LMAO, yea he is failing right now too....WHo do you think had more of an impact on why Cavs lost so many games,Brown or Lebron...rhetorical question..

Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: May 25, 2011 2:08 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

What about Lawrence Frank?

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:42 pm

I like the hire!

Lakers are not usually wrong about these types of things.  It is funny how many people are trashing Mike Brown as if he failed in Cleveland even though he turned the Cavs in to one of the better defensive units and teams in the NBA.  He lead the Cavs to a 66-16 record and had 272-138 record with the Cavaliers.  He is a pedigree of the San Antonio Spurs who was a long time assistant under Greg Popovich.  Mike Brown was fired in Cleveland for one reason alone:  Because LeBron James failed and they needed a scapegoat.  The organization fired Coach Brown in hopes that they would have been able to keep LeBron James by doing so.  They ended up losing their coach and losing their franchise player.  Yes, he was outcoached by Doc Rivers and swept by his former employer Greg Popovich, but to play Devil's advocate: How many coaches can say they were never outcoached by those two outstanding coaches?  I hear crickets too.

4 out 5 of his seasons with Cleveland they had over 50 wins.  You can say it was LeBron, and I will point out that although LeBron vastly improved the Cavs, he never made the playoffs without Brown.  The two went hand and hand in the success that the Cavs briefly enjoyed.

Mike Brown> Brian Shaw or any other coach out there not named Byron Scott that the Lakers were interested in.

Now Mike, your first job if you are the Lakers coach is to:
1- Put Pau Ga-soft on a physical schedule to help him get stronger...if that doesnt work, have him buy a few of those "TAP OUT" shirts because apparently just wearing one of those shirts makes you a tough guy! ;-)

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:40 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

Not the best move, but signing Adelman, or even worse, Dunleavy, weren't much better moves. There is no a single good coach out there for the Lakers. So they might as well experiment and see what happens.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:08 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

As a Laker fan I am happy about this hire. Given the choices that the Lakers had, I think Brown is the best fit for what this team needs. They don't need another retread (a la Rudy T last time) they need a young up and comer who has learned his trade by already directing a team that has gone to the finals and has been in the playoffs many times. Was he sucessful in those series? No, but, I am willing to give this guy an oppurtunity to prove he has learned from those experiences and take those lessons to his new gig. The Lakers need a younger coach that is a motivator like Brown and emphasizes defense like Brown. They do not need an offensive coach (Adelman) or a coach with zero head coaching experience (Shaw, as much as I love that guy) they needed someone exactly like Brown. Sure, his offensive schemes were questionable, but, who is to say that he doesn't go out and get a veteran assistant that helps the offense, a la, like Thibidoux (ck spelling??) did in Boston for Rivers. I like this hire.

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: May 25, 2011 12:55 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

Lakers are screwed!! Brown was out coached in Cleveland while playing the Celtics in the playoffs. The Laker organization is really reaching on this one. Brown asked for a larger contract to “ensure his job security” sounds like the guy is going in expecting to get fired. I like Larry Brown or if you want to stay with a Laker go with Scott or Rambis. My concern is by the time they figure out this is a bad fit Kobe will be done and the Lakers will be looking to rebuild.  At least when the Lakers fire Brown they will only have to give him the remaining 12 mill on his contract….that’s what they paid Phil anyway

Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: May 25, 2011 12:53 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

Usually have to trust the Laker brass on things like this. Obviously, they wanted to the Lakers to be better defensively, and so you get one of the better defensive coaches in the league and give him a lot of length to deal with.

The real issue still remains - what will the Lakers do to improve the point guard position?

Since: Mar 7, 2011
Posted on: May 25, 2011 12:41 pm

Report: Lakers to hire Mike Brown as head coach

This is hilarious.  The Cavs get the 1st and 4th pick, and the Lakers get their failed coach.  Who would have ever thought that the Cavs would leap the Lakers in rebuilding already.  All those Laker fans who raz the Cavs fans are being served crow all summer long. 

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