The Lakers were 0-8 during the NBA preseason and falling fast. USA Today reported today that Brown’s agent has confirmed he has been fired.
Management had given Brown a vote of confidence Thursday night but apparently had a major change of heart with the team struggling despite the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.
“Obviously we needed a win, dropping three in a row, and not winning in the preseason made it a little tough,” Brown said after his team beat the Pistons Sunday for what would still be their only win in a 1-5 start. “What it does more than anything else, especially winning the way we did, defending the way we did first of all, and playing the way we did offensively with great spacing, great ball movement, scoring out of the system….You look at the points some of these guys had, and I’m sure they’ll tell you, they scored probably easier than any other time they’ve played the game because they got it within the system.
“It gives us a little belief, and every win that we get gives us a little bit more belief on both ends of the floor.”
Kobe Bryant complemented Brown after the win.
“I think it’s more of a relief for Mike than it is for anybody else,” Bryant said after Sunday. “We’re good. It feels good, we did what we were supposed to do. It feels good to see what we’ve been working on come in fruition out there during the game.”
But a loss to Utah on Wednesday was apparently the fatal blow for Brown.
Brown was also complementary of how Bryant was contributing to the team, which included eight assists against Detroit. But Bryant probably wasn’t Brown’s No. 1 fan when all was said and done.
“I think it’s a combination of the threat that he is offensively first of all,” Brown said. “But then, when you watch his play, a lot of times last year when he had the ball everybody was standing and watching, standing and watching, standing and watching. If you watched him play these four games, even up in Portland I thought offensively we were very good, minus our turnovers and second chance points, that’s where we lost that game. But, if you think back even to Portland, Kobe was getting backcuts for layups and dunks, he was getting open threes, he was getting curls for open jumpers right in the lane.
“We’re moving him around and while we’re moving him around it’s not like everybody is standing around watching Kobe. Other guys are moving too, so it’s hard to tee off on one guy when he has the ball because we have everybody moving. If you try to tee off on a guy, when you look back at your man he’s gone, and he might end up getting a wide open layup or dunk.”