The expectations for the Lakers this season are already through the roof. Multiply that by the fact that they play in L.A., a city that won’t be satisfied with anything but a championship, and you have a lot of pressure put on the players and the coach.
Lakers head coach Mike Brown knows that he’s expected to take home the title this season. Putting a team together with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard was designed for nothing else but to win right now, so Brown’s job is on the line if he can’t get things done.
“The level of expectations that we have as an organization doesn’t sit with just making the playoffs,” Brown said. “Every year, ownership and management want to compete for a championship. As a coach, I don’t know why you would want to be put in any other situation, unless you’re just happy getting a paycheck or being a coach in the NBA. I want to be put in a situation where year in, year out I have an opportunity to win. You know? In my opinion, that’s my dream and should be the dream of anybody that’s a competitor. This situation warrants that.”
Brown says he was expected to win a championship last year, and while that may be true just because of the history of the franchise, this season is going to have a whole new level of pressure. He’s had his coaching proficiency called into question before. Brown has been criticized for piggybacking on the success of his superstars (LeBron James and Kobe Bryant) but not being able to control their actions.
He’ll have his work cut out for him this year, trying to turn a bunch of individual talents into a team. Brown says he’s looking forward to the opportunity and he’s going to try and ignore what other people are saying.
“Whether I have this team or I have last year’s team, or I’m in Cleveland and we won 60-something games two years in a row, people are always going to talk in my opinion — not just me, but other coaches, too — about whether or not a coach should be here the following year. I have no control over that, so I’m just excited that I’m able to be here in this organization and coaching this group of guys.”