During tonight's ESPN TV broadcast of the Miami Heat VS LA Clipper's, color commentator, Jeff Van Gundy, rendered two of the most stupid bits of commentary I have ever heard. First he talks about the timing of the Lakers firing Coach Mike Brown. Van Gundy said that if the Lakers thought Brown was the wrong man for the job, they should have dismissed him at the end of last year instead of waiting and doing it 5 games into the 2012/2013 schedule. Evidently, Mr. Van Gundy doesn't think that 15 consecutive losses are grounds for dismissal. Coach Brown lost 4 straight to OKC in last years' playoffs. Then this season he lost 6 consecutive preseason games, followed by losing the first three regular season games. The fact is that the Lakers couldn't have foreseen at the end of last year the 6 preseason losses of this year, nor could they have foreseen the first three regular game losses this year. Consequently, it wouldn't have been reasonable for the Lakers to fire Brown last year having only the history of the OKC 4 game playoff sweep of the Lakers. But after the history of 15 consecutive losses, firing Coach Brown 5 games into this year's season was both prudent and justified.
Then Mr. Van Gundy commented on the Lakers not hiring Coach Phil Jackson to replace Brown when they had the opportunity to do so. Evidently, Mr. Van Gundy does not think that Coach Jackson's demands should have played a negative part in the negotiations. Jackson wanted part ownership, plus more involvement with player selection, plus time off on road games. Obviously, Mr. Van Gundy does not realize that the Lakers front office had every right to reject Coach Jackson's demands. Yes, Coach Jackson's teams have won 15 championships. Yes, Coach Jackson is a great coach and has proven that he can win multiple championships. However, he won 6 of those championships with Michael Jordan. He then won four more championships with Bryant and O'Neil. He won his last championship with Bryant and Gasol and Ron Artest, AKA Metta World Peace. The fact is that Jackson has had the good fortune to have some of the greatest players of all time on his teams. But in his last year with the Lakers, injuries to K. Bryant made it difficult for him to achieve his 16th championship. The point is that no matter how great a coach may be the coach still needs super-star talents and healthy players to win a championship. So not accepting Jackson's heavy demands, especially with no guarantee he can win another championship with this year's roster, was a reasonable and prudent business decision on the part of the Lakers front office. Hiring Mike D'Antoni makes good sense given his past successes with the Phoenix Suns who with the exception of Steve Nash never had the depth of talent as the Lakers or Chicago Bulls have had in the past.