The post Jackson era will begin with former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown in charge of Kobe Bryant and company.After a disappointing 2011 NBA Playoffs second round elimination, where they were swept by the Dallas Mavericks, in head coach Phil Jackson's last season in charge of the team, the Los Angeles Lakers had a very important decision to take towards their immediate future. Choosing someone capable of filling in Jackson's shoes was going to be simply impossible, considering his astonishing success in the franchise where five championships where won. Therefore the Buss family needed to focus strictly in finding someone with the potential to make a name of his own in the franchise by guiding the Lakers towards more championship rings.Jackson's assistant Bryan Shaw sounded like a strong option, especially after players such as Kobe Bryant pronounced on his favor to lead the post Jackson era. For Bryant, Shaw was the ideal head coach to go with as he had learned under Jackson as well as played together with Bryant, which built up a strong relationship among them. As the leader of the team Bryant thought that his words where going to have influence in the decision, something that for his surprise -according to - did not end up happening.
Not only did the Buss family turned their thumbs down to Shaw, but also to the two other options that Bryant had pronounced in favor of in case Shaw wasn't elected: Rick Adelman and Jeff Van Gundy, both former Houston Rockets head coaches. Former LA Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy was another name of experienced that was also brought to the table, but that ended up been discarded as well.Driven by Jim Buss, son of owner Jerry Buss, the Buss family announced on Tuesday afternoon that the 22n coach in franchise history was going to be Mike Brown. Awarded as Coach of the Year in 2009 and with a more than positive passage through the Cleveland Cavaliers where he went 272-138 in five seasons, that included two trips to the Conference finals and one to the NBA Finals, Brown arrived to LA.Known as a defensive-minded coach he will start the pre season fresh -if the league and players reach to good terms and avoid a lockout such as the one the NFL is going through - as he took this last season off after being fired from the Cavs in 2010.
What influenced the Lakers decision about bringing in Brown was the fact that he is considered to be a "rising star in his profession" that seems to be the "right person to help carry our championship legacy," as general manager Mitch Kupchak explained.With those expectations about him Brown will have the challenge of mentally recuperating one of the most talented rosters in the league, who will be under his orders with possible sequels of the humiliation suffered against Dallas. If he is able to raise their confidence again to make them become that strong minded team that won two championships in the past four seasons, finishing all of them with 57 or more regular season victories, then there are no doubts about Brown meeting those expectations.Although he hasn't start coaching Brown already made the first right move by acknowledging his limitations and setting his North: "I'm not (Jackson), I'm not going to be him. I have to be who I am," he said.