Tag:Mike Brown
Posted on: May 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2011 6:10 pm

Kuester's future subject of conflicting reports

Coach John Kuester will reportedly not be back as Detroit Pistons head coach, but multiple reports indicate no decision has been made yet. Posted by Ben Golliver. john-kuester

After a tumultuous season of player protests, public bickering, constant rotation changes and another trip to the NBA Draft Lottery, the Detroit Pistons and head coach John Kuester have reportedly parted ways. 

ESPN.com reports that Kuester is headed out in Motown, as has been anticipated for months.
Detroit head coach John Kuester will not be returning to the Pistons, according to sources. It is presumed that president Joe Dumars and his staff will be returning, but there has been no definitive indication of that yet, sources said.

Hired in 2009 to be the franchise's 27th head coach, Kuester has posted a 57-107 mark in his two years in Detroit.
A source told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger on Sunday that Kuester "had not been let go and that no decisions will be made until Tom Gores officially takes over." Gores is the team's new owner, having agreed to purchase the team from Karen Davidson.

Update: A source tells CBSSports.com's Ken Berger on Sunday evening that "Kuester has not resigned, nor has he indicated to Pistons management that he's leaving, according to one source." Also, Berger notes, "according to another source, Mike Brown would like Kuester to join his staff but is waiting for his situation with the Pistons to be resolved."

MLive.com also reported shortly thereafter that a split had not yet taken place.
Pistons source: Nothing has been decided yet on John Kuester. Sounds to me like someone jumped the gun. It appears that no change is imminent with Kuester, from what I'm hearing.
Another denial came in from the Detroit News.
Looks like ESPN is jumping the gun on Kuester. His status hasn't been decided yet, according to multiple team sources.
Yet another denial came in from SI.com.
John Kuester has NOT been fired by the Pistons, high ranking source tells SI. No decision has been made as of yet.
Finally, the Detroit Free Press weighed in with its denial.
Nothing has changed with Q. Everybody has said he's unlikely to return. Q just told me he hasn't been told anything. Source just told me no decision on Q until Tom Gores takes over. But the writing is on the wall.
These reports are not necessarily contradictory. Kuester could have decided that he will to resign or the sides could have agreed that a split will eventually happen, as has been rumored for months given his inability to establish authority over.

Worth noting: The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that Kuester could join the staff of new Lakers head coach Mike Brown. 
Kuester's job with the Pistons is tenuous because of the revolt from his players during the past season when five of them skipped a practice. He remains under contract, but if Kuester is let go, Brown wants him coaching with the Lakers.
Kuester was an assistant on Brown's staff in Cleveland before he was hired to lead the Pistons. 

More on this story as it develops.
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:48 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2011 6:07 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

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.

Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2011 1:47 pm

Rick Adelman done as NBA coach, wants to be GM?

Rick Adelman makes it sound like he's doing coaching in the NBA. Posted by Ben Golliver. rick-adelman

The Houston Rockets and head coach Rick Adelman parted ways back in April, and it took less than a month before his name popped up with regard to the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching position. But that job went to Mike Brown earlier this week.

In a revealing interview with the Portland Tribune, Adelman says he left the Rockets because management wanted to make changes to his staff and that he is interested in an NBA job, perhaps with the Portland Trail Blazers, that isn't as demanding as being a head coach.
“I’m looking to do something different, with not quite the stress the coaching aspect has. I have an affinity for Portland. Any way I could be involved, I would.”
Adelman takes it a step further when asked if he would be interested in the Indiana Pacers head coaching position, making it sound like he might be done coaching in the NBA all together. 
“I’m not sure if I’d be interested,” he says. “I have a feeling Larry [Bird] is going to take his time (hiring a coach). If someone calls, I’ll look at the situation, but I don’t know if I want to do the coaching thing again.”
Instead, it sounds like Adelman is ready for a move upstairs.
“It’s something I haven’t done, but I think I know the league pretty well,” he says. “I’ve worked for a number of GMs. I’ve always wanted to do something like that, but I’ve had pretty good success coaching. I would be very interested in trying something different."
Adelman, who is 64 years old, coached the Blazers through their "Rip City" early-1990s glory years, leading the team to the NBA Finals twice. The team fired its GM, Rich Cho, on Monday.

The transition from coach to GM is not an easy one. As good as his coaching record has been over 20 seasons and as respected as Adelman is around the league, you've got to like his chances of success in the management ranks.

But GM jobs are hard to come by, even for NBA lifers.
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:20 pm

Names popping up to fill out Brown's staff in LA

Posted by Royce Young

Mike Brown is officially the Lakers new coach. Now what?

Other than trying to make best buds with Kobe, Brown's got to start filling out his staff. Whether or not Brown will want to retain current assistants Jim Cleamons, Brian Shaw, Chuck Person and Frank Hamblen is to be seen. Reportedly, Brown has a good relationship with Person from their time together in Indiana and he could remain.

According to HoopsWorld, Brown may also attempt to bring in well-respected Italian coach Ettore Messina in as an assistant. Messina has long been considered one of Europe's top coaches and reportedly would like to get into the NBA.

Another report from Yahoo! Sports has Brown making a run at high profile assistant Tim Grgurich of the Mavericks. Brown and Grgurich are "close friends." Of course I'd imagine no movement would be made on that front until the Mavericks are finished with their season.

The Lakers though are cutting costs in some places, recently even letting go their long-time assistant general manager Ronnie Lester as his contract won't be renewed. Equipment managers, trainers and everyone else is up in the air too, so Brown won't be able to make any firm decisions until the Lakers coaching budget is sorted out.
Posted on: May 25, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 7:41 pm

Lakers' decisions reflect a season of change

The Lakers' front office is taking on a new direction under Jerry Buss' son, Jim Buss. Changes are happening all over the NBA, and the Lakers are no exception. Will a new course of action lead to the old standard of championships for the purple and gold? 

Posted by Matt Moore

The Celtics and Lakers? Gone from the secound round with only a single win between them. The Spurs? Closed out in the first round by Memphis (Memphis!).  Derrick Rose won the MVP at 22 years of age, Kevin Durant was the scoring champion and both of them made the Conference Finals. Those Conference Finals? They featured exactly zero of the following: Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Pau Gasol, or Steve Nash (or Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, or Carmelo Anthony, but don't interupt me, I'm rolling). 

Things are changing in the NBA. There's a lockout on the horizon which will dramatically shift the course of how business is done in the league, new superpowers are taking shape as an era of collaborative superstardom takes hold, and LeBron James is clutch. It's a terrifying new world out there. 

And right in line with those changes is what we've seen from the Los Angeles Lakers both in their dismal collapse to end their chance at a three-peat and  in their decision to hire Mike Brown as their new head coach after Phil Jackson rode off into the peyote sunset. 

Let's begin with a story reviewing the coaching search process five days ago on May 19th in the Los Angeles Times

The Lakers were once the managerial gold standard, with Jerry Buss' vision and Jerry West as in-house legend and basketball boss of bosses.

Now Buss defers largely to his son Jim, who, let's hope, checks with West's protege, Kupchak.

Not surprisingly, given Jim's inclinations — remember bringing Rudy Tomjanovich out of retirement as the game's highest-paid coach in 2004? — this started as a star search.
via Coach selection, and the Lakers' future, is in owners' hands - Los Angeles Times.

Where once Jerry Buss, the most influential owner of the past thirty plus years, handled the mechanics of keeping the Lakers high-powered star factory pumping out championship gold for Buss to enjoy while he wrapped his arms around his younger friends, now the son is trying to establish himself as "the man in charge." The younger Buss has been the key decision maker for a while, but this represents more than just a "business as usual" handling of the Lakers' day-to-day operations or short-term evaluations.  The change here is not just one of replacing a Hall of Fame coach with a respected, though resume-questionable coach. It's a move away in a systemic approach.

Consider that Brian Shaw is right there. A nice, safe continuation of the success the Lakers have enjoyed over the past four seasons. The Triangle offense, the familiarity with the players, the cool comfort of continuity. And Jim Buss completely swerved away from all of that. Rick Adelman was right there. The coach with the best resume, the best track record, a similar offensive approach as the Lakers have been operating under. A star-worthy coach for a franchise that has always accepted nothing but the best. And Jim Buss and Kupchak elected to pass over the best coach on the market.

The reasons will be myriad as to why this was a good hire, but nothing as forthright and easy to point to as defense. Dallas shot the lights out to put the Lakers underground, so the tactical response is to bring in a defensive general to fortify the paint. The offense will sort itself out, right? Except this isn't a team with great natural chemistry and ball movement offensively. It never has been. Kobe Bryant has always been the tiger trying to bust out of the Triangle's cage. Yes, Pau Gasol operated well in the corner system but how will he respond to having to freelance more and make more decisions with increased pressure after this season's epic collapse. Is a looser construct really what's going to be best for Ron Artest, he who Staples screams "No!" whenever he pauses to consider a three? And at its core, do you want Bryant, who continues to show signs of the inevitable downslide of aging and a stubborn refusal to adapt his game, or his field goal attempts, accordingly, free to do as he pleases? 

But then, Bryant in particular is of note in this story. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated reported on Wednesday:
The source close to the Lakers told SI.com that Kobe Bryant was "surprised" by the news of the team's interest in Brown late Tuesday, 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.

via Lakers name Mike Brown new head coach - Sam Amick - SI.com.

The star, the Hall of Famer, the next statue, and he's not consulted on the coach that will be in charge for his final years, presumably? That's a deviation from the standard, and a slap in the face. The Lakers shouldn't require Kobe Bryant's permission, approval, or support to hire Mike Brown. But to not even factor that into the decision making?

There's a clear step being made here by Jim Buss to head away from the last few years which saw Jackson, while dating Buss' sister Jeanie, running the show from high atop the special chair. Not hiring Shaw, not consulting Bryant, signing Brown to a four-year deal which guarantees Brown will be around at least through two more years (anything more is too much salary to surrender in dead money in the event of a firing). There's a very clear indication that Jim Buss is trying to make a statement of his own and show that his vision is just as good, if different from his father's. 

You'd almost wonder if he hasn't been incepted, or something, with this series of decisions.

Is Mike Brown a good coach? Absolutely. In Atlanta (yes, this is assuming a coach who had the Bulls offer him everything but Derrick Rose in the way of a chance to win is fired eventually), he would have been great. In Houston, he would have taken a talented veteran group and overachieved with defense. In Golden State, even, he likely would have given them the defensive personality to make the playoffs. His defensive chops cannot be questioned. But this is a coach who could not contain LeBron James. Granted, no one can, but that was a player with no real reason to believe he knew better. What's going to happen when Brown walks into a wary room of veterans who have won two championships with arguably the greatest coach of all time and who now are being told to listen to the guy who "couldn't win with LeBron" as ridiculous as that accusation is?

The Lakers are moving forward. There's new management at the top. There's new coaching on the sideline. But the roster remains the same, a versatile, talented, if boneheaded group of stars trying to fit together in the greatest reality show on Earth. And Mike Brown just moved into Crazy Town. We'll see if all this change means a move towards the tradition the Lakers value most: championships. 

Posted on: May 25, 2011 4:48 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 4:50 pm

LeBron says 'the Lakers got them a good a coach'

LeBron James endorses the Lakers' hiring of Mike Brown.

Posted by Matt Moore

There's one guy who thinks the Lakers had a slam dunk with the hiring of Mike Brown, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach after agreeing with Brown to a four-year, $18.25 million contract Wednesday. It's the man who many feel was responsible for his firing in Cleveland, his former star who created the questions about Brown's ability to manage huge egos.

It is, of course, LeBron James.

NBA.com spoke to James after practice about the then-possible hiring of Brown by the Lakers, and the former Cavs star was more than effusive with praise for his former coach.
“If it’s true, when it’s official,” James said, “I think the Lakers got them a great coach.”


“Mike Brown was a great coach,” James said. “He gave us success that we hadn’t had before in that city. And it started with his defensive concepts. He brought in a defensive mind set that we didn’t have.”

“We were competitive year after year because of his coaching. So I respect him and I’m grateful to have had him as a coach throughout the years that I had him. He definitely helped me become who I am today.”
via LeBron: ‘The Lakers got them a great coach’ « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog.

This is coming from a player who put on one of the better defensive performances we've seen individually in recent history, and there have been some impressive defensive performances in an era shared by Kevin Garnett, Ron Artest, and Dwight Howard

This is also coming from a player who many say undermined Brown not only on the floor, breaking plays, but also in the locker room, getting his way in terms of perks and positions for members of his crew in the organization, and generally running roughshod with the power granted by being a franchise player.

But James could have declined comment, just as he could have declined comment when asked about the lottery win for Cleveland. But he stuck up for his old coach and said he was happy for Cleveland to get the top pick. Nothing he say will be well received, but at least he's making the effort. 

For the Lakers, though? They had best be aware that all that defensive discipline and philosophy comes with a price, and if the veteran egos aren't willing to take a backseat to get back to the title, this may work out the same way it worked out in Cleveland.
Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:43 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 6:04 am

Kobe 'surprised' at the Mike Brown hiring

Posted by Royce Young

The moment word started coming out that LeBron's old coach might become Kobe's new coach, we all were wondering, "Well, what does Kobe think about that?"

I think we all kind of assumed that he was likely consulted beforehand. No way the Lakers hire Kobe's next coach -- and Mike Brown, no less -- without at least asking what he thought, right?


According to SI.com, Kobe was "surprised" by the news about Brown and also a bit stunned that he wasn't part of the decision-making process. Kobe before had been a solid backer of assistant Brian Shaw for the head coaching position and still reportedly remains in Shaw's corner.

Shaw, of course, would be a bit more of a continuation of things that the Lakers had under Phil Jackson while Brown will come in and look to implement his own system and structure. For a superstar that might be looking at his final coach, I'm sure Kobe would've liked to have a say.

Bryant doesn't have a ton of time left in the league and his next coach will be the man in charge of getting him to another NBA Finals. If that doesn't happen, Kobe's not going to be happy. So when he says "surprised" he really means, "They better have freaking gotten this right because they didn't ask me."

Obviously the Lakers wanted something new. With the way the Lakers collapsed against the Mavericks, Shaw's chances likely took a major hit. The Lakers likely saw a need for a new direction and Brown will provide them that. He's a coach that gels with players. His weakness has always been offense but I'm sure the front office is assuming with all the firepower the Lakers have, offense shouldn't be too much of a problem.

It doesn't sound like the new Kobe-Mike Brown relationship is off to a rocky start by any means, but evidently Kobe didn't get to put in his two cents about the hire. Superstars like to have their say, especially when a decision will involve them. But the Lakers made their move and, quite honestly, Brown could be a very good fit for the team. It's all about Kobe, though, and I'm sure Brown knows that'll be his first job: Win Kobe over.

Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:16 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 8:27 pm

Lakers agree to four-year deal with Mike Brown

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."
CBSSports.com'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 CBSSports.com confirms the deal is done in principle. 

UPDATE: According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, 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. 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com