When we last left Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant…the focus was on the recent developments of Lamar Odom leaving the L.A. roster and Chris Paul joining the L.A. roster…just not the roster Bryant happens to be on.
As if that wasn’t enough, Kobe’s wife just filed for divorce after a decade of marriage. This as another marriage of sorts is about to play out…the honeymoon period between Bryant and new Head Coach Mike Brown is almost over.
Sports Illustrated published a column last week entitled, “What Can Brown Do For Them?” I highly recommend it for those who want to learn more about why the Lakers truly felt Mike was the man to replace “Zen Master” Phil Jackson after Phil hobbled for the hills following last season’s post-season embarrassment at the hands of the eventual NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.
However, after reading the article outlining Brown’s Obsessive-Compulsive tendencies towards perfection, perhaps he may be the perfect gift this Holiday season for a franchise still trying to find an acceptable way to make themselves better in spite of their league’s Commissioner…and those owners of lesser NBA teams who clearly want to figure out a way for great players not to want to play with great players. Good luck with that.
Anyway, regardless of whether or not Dwight Howard or any other NBA star eventually is allowed to walk through those Laker locker room doors, one thing is for sure. Mike Brown is. His priority for defensive intensity, his desire to attack the shot clock early and often…and shaping a “strong corner,” four-corner offense instead of Jackson’s famous triangle for longer possessions all have to be implemented with the barest of pre-season practice available. Many teams will be disadvantaged early on getting their legs under them. The Lakers have the additional issues of no Odom and a new coaching philosophy.
Yet, if Brown can be as obsessive in his pursuit of playing perfection as he is about his personal habits (trust me, read the article), perhaps the Lakers have a chance to stay among the elite of the NBA. It sure sounds like Mike is ready to roll. For whatever it or he is worth, the man does have a plan. I’ll give him that much.
Kobe Bryant probably can’t get to hanging up that 2012 calendar soon enough. This year has ended poorly…but he still has one more present to open that still has a chance to not be yet one more lump of coal. Mike Brown.
Let’s see what Brown can do.
For better or for worse, he and Kobe are in this together.