As the Los Angeles Lakers got ready to take on the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center on Saturday night in the seventh game of their first round Playoff match-up; former Lakers great and current ESPN NBA Analyst Magic Johnson predicted that if Los Angeles loses the game that the club would fire head coach Mike Brown. According to a report from the “Los Angeles Times” the member of the Basketball Hall Of Fame said “Mike Brown will not be coaching the Lakers if they lose this game. There would be so much pressure on Jim Buss and the Laker organization to get rid of him. His job will go. The Lakers are about championships. That’s what the Lakers are about. If they lose this game, Mike Brown, I bet you, will not be sitting there.”
Although I have never been a gambler; I would gladly take Johnson up on his wager if asked; for the thought of Brown being fired after one year on the bench is simply ridiculous. The Lakers do have a myriad of problems at this juncture; however their bench boss is not among them. This is after all, the same team that was swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of last year’s Post Season.
Instead of improving the team during the off-season; Los Angeles ended up trading a key member of the squad as they sent last season’s NBA Sixth Man Of The Year, Lamar Odom to Dallas after a trade that would have gotten them point guard Chris Paul was vetoed by the Association. Odom and Pau Gasol were to be sent to the Houston Rockets in a three-way deal with the New Orleans Hornets and when the transaction was stopped, Odom copped an attitude and demanded to be sent elsewhere.
It would also result in Gasol playing with the fear that he was going to be dealt until the NBA trade deadline went into effect on March 15. Gasol has played tentatively throughout this series, effecting his production and increasing his concerns that he will find himself on another roster next year. Metta World Peace, was suspended for the first six games of the match-up for his elbowing Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden in the head late in the regular season. The veteran had played his best ball of the campaign when he was suspended and his loss has also hurt the club.
Andrew Bynum provided the Nuggets with great motivation when he told reporters after game four when the Lakers held a 3-1 advantage that his club would have no problems wrapping up the series. Bynum’s prediction was way off the mark as the series is now deadlocked at 3-3 with one of the teams going home at the end of Saturday’s contest.
Kobe is angry at the world at this moment and has lost faith in his teammates. He told reporters that he was looking forward to the return of Metta World Peace for game seven; as he is the only player Bryant believes he can count on. Apparently Ramon Sessions, whom the club acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this season has fallen out of favor with Bryant as well.
Mike Brown when speaking with reporters about Johnson’s comments, did not seem to be rattled by what the former All-Star guard had to say. Brown said “Magic’s a good guy and he’s entitled to his opinion. ESPN probably pays him seven figures. So he’s got to make comments wherever he feels it’s necessary to make comments and he’s got to make the comments he feels are the truth or he believes in. He’s free to say what he wants.”
The Lakers bench boss responded perfectly, as he realizes he has nothing to be concerned about. Win or lose Saturday night; Mike Brown will still be the head coach for this club next season.