But he does feel pretty strongly about the Lakers ditching Brown just five games into this season.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” James said Friday night after the Heat beat the Hawks, a day that also include Brown being fired in Los Angeles and heavy speculation that Phil Jackson would be taking over again. “I just don’t think he got a fair shake, honestly. With the shortened season last year, and five games into this year, he didn’t really get a full season.”
James wasn’t the only one displeased with the speedy sacking. Former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy also chimed in, calling it “the most ridiculous firing in the history of the NBA.” (Van Gundy, of course, was fired in Orlando to appease Dwight Howard, who now plays in Los Angeles.)
“Why did they bring him back?” Van Gundy asked. “They changed the entire staff, changed his offense, got two new players, have had guys hurt since Day 1 and gave him five games to get it going.”
While Brown didn’t have much time prove himself in Los Angeles, it was clear that he wasn’t clicking with several parts of the team — fissures that Lakers management seemed to think would never be fixed.
That, coincidentally or not, is also what got Brown fired in Cleveland, where the common opinion on what wouldn’t happen if Brown remained ended up mattering more than what Brown did accomplish.