The Los Angeles Lakers exited the playoffs in disappointing fashion this past season. After their second round loss, Los Angeles decided to completely revamp their team and now they look loaded looking ahead to next season. The most amazing part about it is LA was able to reload while at the same time keeping intact their core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The addition of Steve Nash was costly but the Lakers have needed a point guard for quite a while, and now they have a former MVP candidate directing the offense in Hollywood. Their most recent addition of Antawn Jamison can’t be overlooked as well to give the Lakers a huge veteran scoring punch off the bench. LA may not be done yet either. They have repeatedly been mentioned in numerous trade rumors with the Orlando Magic and they could be setting their sights on Dwight Howard.
Los Angeles will have a different looking team this upcoming season, one that has every opportunity to be a championship contender with or without Howard.
Mike Brown joined ESPN Radio Los Angeles with Max and Marcellus to talk about what will be different in Los Angeles this season, his relationship with Kobe Bryant, whether Kobe had any say in him being hired and what he thinks about the opportunity to coach Steve Nash.
On what will be different in Los Angeles this season:
“I think the one thing that you will see is a little more consistency than what we had last year. Everything was kind of done on the fly. For us I thought the biggest adjustment was losing Lamar (Odom). You come into the season and you know you have three veteran bigs that you can rotate and when Lamar is not there now you have to figure out how to try to fit a younger guy into his spot. That was a blow for us that with the lockout and everything that happened you weren’t really expecting but our guys did a great job of coming together at the right time and just finding ways to get wins. We had a chance against Oklahoma City a couple of times down the stretch in a couple of games and we blew it. We can sit here and say could’ve, should’ve, would’ve and things might have been different but Oklahoma City is a very good team and you have to give them credit. I think we will be ready this coming year.”
On his relationship with Kobe Bryant and whether Kobe had any say in him being hired:
“That part you would have to speak to Kobe on in terms of whether or not he was a part of it or how much he was a part of it or how that all came down but Kobe and I, we’ve been great from day one. It’s kind of ironic or funny because I’d hear stories about Kobe doesn’t want this to happen or he’s not sure about this or he hasn’t met with this person or that person and Kobe and I had already met face to face a couple of times. For me, and I told Kobe this, I said ‘I really don’t care what people say,’ I think it’s great media for people and it’s up to them to talk about but I don’t need to go to the radio or I don’t need to go to someone in the newspaper and say ‘hey Kobe and I have already met a couple of times and everything is good,’ we’re moving forward and we like what we have and we’re going to see how this thing works. I don’t need to say that. Whether it happens or not or people find out or not, it’s great. As long as he and I are on the same page to me that was the most important thing. I felt he also felt the same way.”
On what he thinks about the opportunity to coach Steve Nash:
“One thing I know just from coaching against him from all these years is he’s very intelligent. Throughout the course of Training Camp yes he’s going to learn from myself and my staff and he will learn from some of the players but I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of learning that we’re going to get from him too and I always look at this thing as I give guys ownership especially guys that deserve it and he’s a guy that has a proven track record and has deserved ownership in the process. I’m looking forward to working with him starting in training camp on both sides of the ball. When we had our initial conversation before the deal went down he seemed very, very intelligent and I had never had an in-depth conversation with him like I did then. The stuff that he said and the questions he asked were off the charts. We talked for about 45 or 50 minutes and it was probably one of the best conversations that I’ve had with a guy that was a free agent in my 20 plus years of being in the league.”
Listen to Mike Brown on ESPN Radio LA here (Audio begins 27:00 into the podcast)