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Lakers Soap Opera: Mike Brown Asserts He Is In Charge

The Los Angeles Lakers installed head coach Mike Brown to replace Phil Jackson this offseason, and as expected there have been plenty of hiccups. No one is too happy with the Laker offense, which has stagnated from the days of the triangle and doesn't look terribly effective in the fourth quarter. While the Laker defense has picked up as a unit, the team seems to be struggling on the court to produce effectively.

However, the latest incident has more to do with how he's managing his players. In two consecutive games, Brown has benched Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum for critical stretches of the contest, particularly in the fourth quarter. Those personnel moves were sure to draw some controversy.

Brown talked with Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, and he made it clear no outside forces are shaping his decisions. Not Bryant or Bynum or any of the Lakers players, not any of the Busses or general manager Mitch Kupchak. Read an excerpt after the jump.

But Brown, who was never known as the hard-line sort during his days with LeBron James in Cleveland and may be trying to change that perception now, insisted that he has autonomy.

"Nobody has told me to do anything with [players], just like, for the most part, I haven't said, 'Hey trade this guy or trade that guy,' " Brown said. "That's not my area. Mitch has made it clear, too -- that I'm the coach and I've got to coach this team to win.

"No pressure is coming from Jimmy. ... I'm coaching this team how I see fit, and nobody is putting pressure on me to do this or do that. I'm making all the decisions. And at the end of the day, if the decisions don't work -- when it comes to coaching the team on the floor -- it's because they were all my decisions. If that happens, I'll be able to sleep at night no matter what happens. That's how I look at it."

You can read the full article on Brown's interview with Sports Illustrated by clicking here.

To talk about Brown and what he currently means to Lakers fans, hit up Silver Screen and Roll.