Blog Entry

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:48 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2011 6:07 pm
Lakers VP Jim Buss admits that Kobe Bryant should have been consulted on the team's coaching search. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-bryant

It's not even June, and the Los Angeles Lakers are already making a mess out of their summer.

This week, the team hired Mike Brown to coach the team. It was a somewhat controversial hire but not an altogether terrible one. The messy part wasn't the result; it was the process and the aftermath. 

During the search process, Lakers owner Jerry Buss specifically said that no Lakers players would be consulted regarding the search. The Los Angeles Times quoted him to that effect.
"We really don't consult the players on these matters," Buss said. "Obviously, we have to select somebody who has a reputation that players would be happy with. But to ask a direct player to select a particular coach, that's general manager territory."
OK, fine, if that's your team policy, whatever. It's a strange policy to have when Kobe Bryant, one of the best and certainly the most headstrong player in the NBA is the face of your franchise, but if that's your policy, by all means go with it.

Of course, once Brown's hiring was announced, Bryant offered a "no comment" and was said to be "surprised" by the hire. Was Bryant a bit peeved by this slight? Of course. Anyone in his position would be.

The decision to select Brown as the Lakers next coach has been widely attributed to Jim Buss, Lakers VP and son of the owner. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, Jim Buss does a 180 degree flip less than one week after the hiring was announced, admitting that Bryant should have been consulted during the process.
"Looking back on it, we should have contacted Kobe," Buss says. "Kobe said it was management's job to pick a coach. He just said, 'Defense first.' That's what we were doing, but we should have reached out to him."
Yeah, of course the Lakers should have reached out to Bryant. The only reason not to do so was is if the Lakers firmly and truly believed in their "no players consulted" stance. If they did, there should not be any backtracking. If it's so important that it's black and white, there should be no gray area hedging after the fact. 

Just put yourself in Bryant's shoes. You've busted your butt for more than a decade. You've brought home five rings. You're entering the final chapter of your career. You've earned every last shred of respect a player can earn in the NBA. After all of that, you're then informed that you will be left out of the process. Once the process is completed, you're told that you should have been consulted. But the hiring has been completed, of course, and there's no going back. You're stuck with the guy that you weren't asked about, whether you like it or not.

If you're Bryant, how else do you read this situation except for butt-covering lip service? If Lakers management truly wanted to show respect, they could have reached out. If they truly didn't care, they have no reason to apologize or backtrack. If they don't know what they are doing or simply can't keep their story straight ... well, then they do what they just did. 

By admitting this mistake so quickly and readily, Jim Buss totally undercuts this management team's credibility and makes a bad situation even more complicated. No one wins here: Bryant feels disrespected, Brown walks into an unnecessarily tense scene without first having Bryant's support, Lakers management looks like it's on different pages, and Jim Buss looks either weak, inconsistent or indecisive. 

Like I said, what a mess.


Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: May 29, 2011 10:44 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

To be honest, I thought Brian Shaw was going to get the job. Whats wrong with promoting from within? Its not like your promoting from within on a losing organization. Every coach has to start somewhere, and a lot of first-time coaches don't get the luxury of running a championship contender. Perhaps the Lakers forgot superstars run teams - see Magic Johnson vs. Paul Westhead.

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: May 29, 2011 10:40 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2011 10:26 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

And the Titanic should have gone around the iceberg. Little too late on both counts. As far as trading Kobe, that'll never happen. First, he is owed $81 million over the next three years. No one wants that contract. Second, then what? Fans always want players traded and coaches fired, but they never account for those two words. Trade Kobe...then what? Turn the franchise over to Shannon Brown? Who is going to take key shots and carry the team? Gasol? Bynum? Odom??? One is softer than a puppy sitting on a silk pillow, one is insane and the last married a Kardashian.

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: May 29, 2011 10:11 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Why reach out to a guy that is almost finished.  It is time to build the team around Bynum, in fact if you could deal Kobe for something decent, now is the time to pull the trigger.  Mike Brown is a great coach and the decsion to hire him should only come from managment.  This artice is a mess, up there with some of Steve Elling's finest work. 

Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2011 10:05 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Just another way for the Lakers to get noticed in the news. Everyone knows the Lakers are bigger than the game.Yell

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2011 10:03 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

First off, I think Coach Brown just doesnt fit with the Lakers. Is it because he coached LeBron in Cleveland and they think he knows how to coach a superstar. As for Kobe deciding on who the next Lakers coach is-thats funny, hes a paid employee not a owner or ceo of the Lakers. Just shut up and play ball. It shouldnt matter to kobe who the coach is, hes gonna shoot the ball more than anyone on the court anyway. I wonder if him and westbrook would be good teammates?

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: May 29, 2011 9:49 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Why? He doesn't have a say in who this team hires! He's  a player not a owner or gm so he shouldn't of been contacted!

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2011 9:28 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

That is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard, No player should ever be consulted when a team hires a coch, Just shut up and play , spoiled punk

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: May 29, 2011 8:49 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

A big I told you so moment coming from either Lakers management  if they atleast get back to west finals, or Bryant if the Lakers dont get  to west finals. Either way If this team does not win it all or get pretty damn close in 2011-2012 things will get bad quick.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2011 7:59 am

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

the greatest coach of all time? im going to throw up. with the teams he had how did he ever lose? the team wins and he is great. they lose and its never his fault. go coach the clippers and if they win i will give him credit. give me the teams he had and im a great coach. Mavs 4 games Lakers 0 great  coaches dont let that happen. oh yea thats right that series wasnt his fault it was the players, the same players that made hin a great coach when they won..

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or