Newly named Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown said today he will bring a culture of “trust, communication, defense, a no-excuses mentality, a family environment and a determined work ethic” to the NBA team.
“My responsibility as a leader of the Los Angeles Lakers is to provide a platform for this organization to achieve maximum success,” Brown said at a courtside news conference at the team’s El Segundo headquarters.
“Maximum success is hanging up on the walls here,” he said, referring to the 11 banners representing the team’s championships in Los Angeles.
Brown signed a three-year contract with an option for a fourth. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Brown said he has “talked at length” with Laker star Kobe Bryant, center Pau Gasol, guard Derek Fisher and forward Ron Artest, along with Bryant’s wife Vanessa, who “had great tips on places to live.”
Brown succeeds Phil Jackson, who retired after coaching the Lakers for 11 of the past 12 seasons, guiding them to five NBA championships.
“I have great respect for Phil Jackson and all … his accomplishments,” Brown said. “I’m not sure what size shoe he wears, but I’m not here to fill his shoes. I’m here to help this team and organization carve our own path to success.”
General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Brown landed the job because of a combination of factors — his interview with owner Jerry Buss and Buss’ son Jim, the team’s executive vice president of player personnel, “his body of work as a coach” and “his pedigree as a basketball coach.”
Brown, 41, coached the Cleveland Cavaliers for five seasons before being fired following the 2009-10 season. He spent the past year as an NBA studio analyst for ESPN.
Brown had a 272-138 record with the Cavaliers, and was named as the NBA’s Coach of the Year for the 2008-2009 season, when he coached Cleveland to a franchise-best 66-16 record. Brown guided the Cavaliers to NBA finals in 2007 for the only time in their history, but they lost in four games to the San Antonio Spurs.
Brown graduated from the University of San Diego in 1992 and began his NBA career that year with the Denver Nuggets as a scout and video coordinator. Following five seasons with Denver, he became an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards in 1997, remaining there until 2000 when he began a three-season stint as an assistant coach with San Antonio. Brown was the Indiana Pacers’ associate head coach in the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons.