By Jovani Gama |Asst. Opinions Editor|
And the new coach of the Los Angeles Lakers is none other than former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, Mike Brown.
No that is not a typo. Brown will take over one of the most dominant teams in sport’s history.
As expected, there were plenty of mixed reactions, as some were enthused by the prospect of having a defensive-minded former Coach of the Year steer the ship, while others were confused and even upset by one of the biggest surprises of the year.
“I honestly had no idea that Mike Brown was in contention for the position,” said student Phillip Mitchell. “I am excited though. I mean he has won 60 games or more with Cleveland several times, and even won Coach of the Year in 2009.”
Student Michael Roberts was less excited about the hiring.
“When I heard that Mike Brown was going to be introduced as the head coach, I was actually upset. I would have much rather preferred (Stan) Van Gundy or (Rick) Adelman,” said Roberts.
Lakers star Kobe Bryant clearly expressed his desires to have Lakers’ assistant coach Brian Shaw take over the helm.
Shaw, obviously will be left to find a job elsewhere as it will now be Brown who will face the menacing challenge of replacing the legend, Phil Jackson.
Jackson, who had coached the team for the past 12 seasons, minus a one season hiatus, retired earlier this year. He guided the Lakers team to five NBA championships and won six additional championships with the Chicago Bulls, bringing his grand total to 11.
“I have great respect for Phil Jackson and all of his accomplishments,” said Brown, during the news conference in which he was introduced as the head coach. “I’m not sure what size shoes he wears, but I’m not here to fill his shoes.”
Many people are concerned over whether or not Brown and Bryant will be able to coexist.
“Kobe and I talked about a lot of things,” said Brown. “We talked about family, we talked about last year, the team. He wanted to know what I had in store and going forward on both sides of the ball and what my beliefs are. And I thought the meeting in person as well as the conversation on the phone went very well.”
“He’s one of the greatest ever. His role will not change,” said Brown.
Lakers brass did not consult Bryant during their coaching search, but sources say Bryant has great respect for Brown and is on board with the hiring according to espn.com.
Team executives have received heavy criticism from the media and fans for hiring Brown.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said only three people were interviewed for the job.
Brown, apparently, was so impressive that management decided to look no further.
Brown became the 22nd head coach in the franchise’s history.