Many people thought Mike Brown got a rough break when he was fired just five games into the Lakers’ season this year. With new coach Mike D’Antoni also struggling to get Los Angeles’ many stars winning together, some have wondered whether Brown’s coaching was really a problem.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak led validity to that assessment Tuesday, saying that Brown was fired quickly because the team felt a sense of urgency as longtime owner Jerry Buss struggled with his health.
“The one thing that was a big factor is our lack of patience,” Kupchak said on CBS Radio, according to CBSSports.com. “When we made the changes we made in the offseason, we really did it with a two- or maybe even three-year window, probably a two-year window to do our best and win a championship. And clearly we knew Dr. Buss was not in great health, and we were hoping for the next year or two we could put something on the court that would result in being in the hunt at the end of the year for a championship.”
When the Lakers didn’t look good after the preseason and a few games, the move was made.
“We could’ve waited another month or two, but at the time I believe we were 1-4,” Kupchak said. “And if we would’ve waited another month, we could’ve turned it around, or we could’ve been 2-12. We just didn’t want to wait.”
Buss passed away Feb. 18 as the Lakers continued to struggle for a playoff spot at 25-29. They are now 28-30, with Houston (31-27) and Utah (31-26) within reach if they can put up a strong final stretch of games.