Sure, I was one of those fools who originally thought that Brown will flame out as he did in Cleveland. I slept on it, and amazingly had a change of heart (that “-ish” doesn’t happen too often).
Here are the reasons I think Brown will fare better in L.A.:
The Lakers are lead by a real leader in Kobe Bryant, not a wanna-be in LeBron James. First, let me say I am NO FAN of Bryant. I still blame him for running Shaquille O’Neal out of town when they could have won at least THREE more titles together. That said, Bryant is a damn good leader. It took him a little while to grow into that role, but he’s surpassed all expectations and then some. Bryant will buy into what Brown is selling defensively, and will make sure his teammates will as well.
James kind of did his own thing in Cleveland – which is probably why he repeatedly failed in the playoffs. As we all found out later, James and his crew (not teammates) were given carte blanche to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. That led to the ill-advised firing of Brown and GM Danny Ferry, only to have James jump ship anyway. I do not think Brown has to worry about Bryant behaving as James did.
The Lakers have better talent surrounding its superstar. It helps to have other All-Star caliber talent on a team, and the Lakers have that in Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. That alone will help Brown forget about his Cleveland experience. If Brown could get 60+ regular season wins per year with that bunch in Cleveland, he’ll win more and often in L.A.
Defense wins championships. The Lakers were already a good defensive team. Now they hire a guy who REALLY excels in it in Brown. It also helps the Lakers have the crazy-ass Ron Artest, when focused is the best defender in the NBA. I think the Lakers will make the Chicago bulls seem like choir boys on the defense end.
Overall, I think the Lakers are in good hands, even if James sounded like a smart-ass when he said the Lakers “are getting a championship-caliber coach”…