Shaquille O'Neal is going into retirement blazing a trail of glory. Or just blazing bridges. Again.
Another excerpt from his upcoming autobiography portrays Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown as a doormat and LeBron James as King of the court in Cleveland (in more ways than one). So naturally, this means that Brown will be bowing down to Kobe Bryant during his time as Lakers head coach.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld has more on the story.
LeBron was a huge star. He was as big as I was in 2000 in L.A. when I was dominating the league. … Our coach, Mike Brown, was a nice guy, but he had to live on edge because nobody was supposed to be confrontational with LeBron. Nobody wanted him to leave Cleveland, so he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to do.
I remember one day in a film session LeBron didn’t get back on defense after a missed shot. Mike Brown didn’t say anything about it. He went to the next clip and it was Mo Williams not getting back and Mike was saying, “Yo, Mo, we can’t have that. You’ve got to hustle a little more.” So Delonte West is sitting there and he’s seen enough and he stands up and says, “Hold up, now. You can’t be pussyfooting around like that. Everyone has to be accountable for what they do, not just some us.” Mike Brown said, “I know, Delonte. I know.” Mike knew Delonte was right. …
I’m not sure if Kobe is going to listen to Mike Brown. LeBron never really did. Here’s what we do know: Kobe will definitely be in charge.
What, like Kobe wasn't running the show the last several years?
It's not a big surprise that Bryant tends to demand the spotlight. He's the alpha dog of a team that's won five championships, so of course he wants to be the one in charge. It's not as if he was subservient much to Phil Jackson and the Triangle offense that much either; every now and then Kobe was going to be Kobe.
It wouldn't be a huge surprise if he didn't stand down to Mike Brown's marching orders.
For more on Kobe and the Lakers (and Shaq too), hit up Silver Screen And Roll.