A large contingent of Lakers fans and NBA analysts may still somewhat be in shcok by the hiring of former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown as Phil Jackson’s successor, but sooner rather than later, LA fans in particular are going to have to try to warm up to the hire. One thing that I don’t believe will help Lakers fans get to that point is listening to Mitch Kupchak explain the decision process of identifying and hiring Brown as the best available candidate for the job.
On Thursday, Kupchak joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about the hiring process — from why Brian Shaw wasn’t targeted as Jackson’s replacement, what they saw in Brown that convinced them he was the best candidate, who else was on their radar, Kobe Bryant’s involvement (or lack thereof) in the hiring process what the future of the Triangle offense might be in LA, to name but a few of the topics discussed by DP and the Lakers’ GM. Here’s a few excerpts from the conversation courtesy of SB Nation site Sports Radio Interviews.
On why the Lakers chose not to hire Brian Shaw:
“It’s not so much that we chose not to hire Brian because he’s not qualified, I think our feeling going into it was we just felt we needed a new voice with this team. The old staff had been with us for almost 11 years, and we didn’t end the season as strongly as we had hoped, and we just felt it was time for a change. Brian is a very qualified individual, he’s going to be in the NBA for many, many years, and he may end up being the Lakers coach one day. But we didn’t feel it was the time right now.”
Did they try to reach out to Bryon Scott?
“The only coaches that we reached out to — potential coaches — were coaches that did not have ties or contracts with other teams.”
What about Rick Adelman?
“I don’t want to go through the list, but Rick was on our list of considerations. He’s an extremely qualified candidate, and if we ended up with a coach like Rick Adelman, that would have been a great choice as well.”
What it was about Brown that jumped out to him and the rest of the Lakers brass who decided to hire him:
“Well as I said at the beginning of the interview, a new voice was something we felt was important at this time for our team. He certainly has great experience at the NBA level coaching with Rick Carlisle in Indiana, Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and then he was the head coach in Cleveland for seven years (editor’s note: it was only five years) and had great success. So we feel we got somebody who’s got a great pedigree, good experience at the head coaching level. You know, the interview itself was very upbeat. You don’t judge a candidate by his interview; you look at his whole body of work, which is what I just mentioned. But I will say, the interview, he came through as a very energetic and enthusiastic person. I read some things in the last day or two that ‘the Triangle is gone.’ That’s not true. A lot of the stuff that Mike runs is a derivative of the Triangle, and he’ll have some things that are unique to him. So that’s what jumped out at us.”
Was Brown a unanimous choice amongst the three of them?
“Yes he was.”