The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have put together a deal to hire Mike Brown, the former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, to replace Phil Jackson.
The deal would be for three years at $4 million-$4.5 million a season, according to the Los Angeles Times. Other candidates for the job were Rick Adelman, the former Houston Rockets coach, and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw.
In a radio interview Tuesday, Lakers owner Jerry Buss said the team was “very close” to making a hire.
Brown was 272-138 in five seasons with the Cavs, who fired him last year.
Immediate reaction from Lakers fans was negative. Over 68 percent of users in a Los Angeles Times poll chose “no” when asked if Brown would be a good choice for Lakers coach.
There’s no word on whether or how often Kobe Bryant might have voted. Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick quotes a source close to Bryant saying he was “surprised” by the report and that he was not part of the decision-making process. Still, as Amick writes, Brown seems to fit the description of the kind of coach Bryant was hoping for earlier this month.
“If you're building a championship team, your DNA always has to start with the defensive end of the floor,” Bryant said on May 11. “Always. I'm a firm believer in that. I don't believe in building a championship team on offense. It has to be built on defense and rebounding. Period.”