The Los Angeles Lakers have fired head coach Mike Brown after their dismal 0-8 preseason and 1-4 record to start the 2012-13 NBA season. The question has to be asked: did guard Kobe Bryant get Brown fired?
Obviously, only one win in the first five games to start the season is enough to have any coach under the microscope. But when that coach is in charge of the most storied franchise in the history of the league, that microscope is magnified. A loss in the Western Conference Semifinals the previous year does not help either.
Many questioned why Brown was ever brought to Los Angeles to coach the Lakers in the first place. Owner Jerry Buss must have felt that Brown’s success with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers meant that he could handle Bryant and a big market team. However, that is assuming Brown lead the Cavaliers to all of those wins, and not just James playing off the charts on a daily basis.
No one expected Brown’s time with the Lakers to last long. After the terrible start to this season, it is very possible certain people made sure it would be cut shorter than anticipated. It is also very possible Bryant, the team’s leader and the hero of Los Angeles, could be the one who led the charge.
During the Lakers ugly 95-86 loss to the Utah Jazz (2-3), Bryant could be been seen giving Brown the stare of death as the head coach walked past him. A clearly agitated Bryant apparently did not care who saw it as the ice-cold glare lasted long enough for the television cameras and photographers to capture the image.
Check out the stare here if you have not seen it yet, courtesy of @jose3030.
It is possible that since the Wednesday night beat-down, Bryant held a discussion with general manager Mitch Kupchak and even Buss about the direction the Lakers are headed. A 1-4 start to an 82-game season does not seem that bad, especially when that team is loaded with talent at every position. However, if Bryant sees first-hand that the players are not responding to Brown’s coaching then clearly a change must be made.
I am not trying to paint Bryant as the person solely responsible for Brown’s firing, but to think he did not have a hand in it is crazy. Every superstar in the history of professional sports has had at least some say in a team matter at some point in their career.
There is no question Brown would have been fired eventually if the Lakers continued down the bumpy road they currently find themselves. Bryant plus a terrible record for an All-Star loaded team just excelled that process.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.