The University of Maine student newspaper since 1875
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 3:46 p.m.

Lakers’ firing of head coach Brown uncalled for

The Los Angeles Lakers started off with 1-4 record this year — the team’s worst start to a season since 1978. It was also the worst record in the Western Conference at the time. Now they’re tied for last at 2-4.

Due to this dismal start, head coach Mike Brown was fired. Prospective replacements include anyone from Nate McMillan to Mike D’Antoni to Jerry Sloan or even Phil Jackson again, whose return would be great for the Lakers. On Friday, they won their first game without Brown against the Golden State Warriors.

Each of those coaches is probably an upgrade, but firing Brown was a scapegoat for the team just not winning. Brown never really had a chance taking over a team that was coached by Phil Jackson, and he never was given a chance this year.

Five games isn’t enough time to cut the guy loose. It was definitely a surprise because it was said that he would get at least the upcoming six-game home stand the Lakers have to turn things around.

Another thing that has to be taken into account is that Steve Nash’s leg is injured, Kobe Bryant isn’t at 100 percent and Dwight Howard has even said he isn’t fully recovered from his back surgery.

It could be the newly installed Princeton offense the Lakers have been running. It’s designed to share the ball and take a load off Kobe, but the results haven’t quite been there. It’s causing players to do things they don’t usually do, and it’s making them uncomfortable on the court.

The other side of this is that Brown was hired because of his recipe for great defense. And yet the Lakers don’t exactly play great defense and haven’t since his hiring. A lot of people said the job was too big for him. L.A. also went winless in the preseason. And, although it’s only preseason, it still might be significant.

Although I don’t think the firing of Brown was necessary, there are some other valid points to letting him go.

Brown wasn’t good enough or ready to replace someone like Phil Jackson. That’s one thing people are saying that may not be true but might have something to it. He’s never going to be better than Jackson, but to say he wasn’t ready might be a stretch.

Another thing that I agree with is that if they were going to fire him in a few weeks, it’s better that they fire him now. The reason for that is because they can get a new offense installed if they are going to change theirs.

The Lakers’ firing of Mike Brown is two-sided because on one hand, the Lakers would have eventually pulled it together under Mike Brown; they’re too good not to. But it isn’t exactly an awful move to fire him if they’re going to bring in a better, more respected coach, especially if it’s Jackson.

But again, it’s five games into the season. They could have given him a chance and acknowledged that the team hasn’t played up to expectations and is injury-plagued.

If the struggles continue after the Lakers hire a long-term coach, they may need to make some roster changes. But as of right now, there should be no need to panic for the organization.

Brown shouldn’t have been fired quite yet, the team just needed some more time to gel with the new roster, like the Heat needed the first year the Big Three got together.

I don’t understand letting Brown go, but at the same time, I agree with some of the reasons that they had to. The fact is, the Lakers have a great team and they need and want to win now, not later.