The Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes attended the press conference introducing Mike Brown as the Lakers’ new head coach, and he spoke to Andy Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles about the hire. During the chat, Barnes gave his impressions of Brown and dispensed advice to his teammates on how to ensure they succeed in his presence.
Unlike most Lakers, Barnes has a relationship with Brown. As Kamenetzky explains, Barnes almost signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent when Brown was still coaching there, so he’s had a fairly recent opportunity to discuss hoops with his new boss. “He seemed like a really good guy,” Barnes told Kamenetzky. “What he does and what he’s going to do [as Lakers coach], that’s yet to be determined.”
Barnes urged his teammates to “buy in to” Brown’s philosophy. “If we do that, we should have a really good team.”
That’s a key point. Phil Jackson, whom Brown replaces, had incredible clout. The man won 11 championships as a coach and two more as a player, and thus commanded respect. Brown, in contrast, has yet to win a single Finals game as coach; the San Antonio Spurs swept his Cavs four seasons ago in his lone appearance. If Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, to whom Barnes referred as “the greatest player in the world,” openly dismisses Brown, his teammates may follow suit, which could spell disaster for Los Angeles.