Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 at 10:30 am  |  62 responses

Mike Brown Happy to Let Kobe Bryant Dominate the Lakers’ Offense

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

For virtually any other team in the NBA, last night’s convincing victory over the Houston Rockets would’ve been cause for (minor) celebration. The offense and defense both played well, and two of the most notable stars in the gym delivered big performances.

But with the Los Angeles Lakers, things are never that simple.

Kobe Bryant responded to his growing legion of critics by taking even more shots (29 last night compared to 28 in the ghastly loss to Denver on Sunday) on route to 37 points. Teammate Andrew Bynum had the first 20/20 outing of his career, but one gets the sense that he could’ve done a lot more offensively had he gotten the ball more frequently, and his frustration on the court throughout the game indicated that he felt the same way.

Head coach Mike Brown — who doesn’t exactly have a history of challenging superstar players — and Kobe seem to think it’s best for Bryant to dominate the offense.

From Hoopsworld:

“[Bryant's] got five championship rings and Bynum and Gasol have maybe one or two, so I’m going to go with the man who’s got five,” said Brown. “Whatever he does, obviously I’m going to coach him but I’ve got to get to know him and in order for me to get to know him and his game, he’s going to make mistakes and I’m going to make mistakes out on the floor.”

“That’s why we sit and watch and tape afterwards,” continued Brown. “So we can better understand where he wants the ball or he can better understand what I want on this particular possession or anything like that. I think it’s pretty neat that everybody’s making a big deal of it but it’s early in the process, I’m getting to know him, he’s got the five . . . championship rings, so he’s been there and done that. I’m going to give him some freedom.”

“You guys can say I’m rolling over, say I’m deferring to him,” said Brown. “Look, Kobe’s a superstar, he’s been there, done that. You’ve got to give. He can score. You’ve got to give him more freedom than I give Darius Morris. I’ve got to give Kobe more freedom than I may give Pau Gasol. I’m going to give Kobe more freedom than Derek Fisher. That’s it. There’s nothing more to it.”

Stats and the naked eye show that the Lakers are a much more efficient and dominant offensive team when they take full advantage of their highly-skilled big men, but Kobe Bryant (injured, aging, shooting just 41.7% from the field so far this season) obviously doesn’t intend to change his approach.

Assuming Andrew Bynum stays healthy and continues to develop into a truly dominant force — and the biggest if of all: that the Lakers don’t eventually trade him for Dwight Howard — the relationship between Bynum, Kobe, Mike Brown and the rest of the team will be a very fascinating one to keep track of this season.

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  • http://nba.com GP23

    Again, nothing new here… Kobe will always dominate the offense, because he is the best scorer on that team.

  • neaorin

    Good luck, Lakers fans. BWWAHAHAHAHAA

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    KD goes 8-26 last night in a loss….just a bad shooting night, right?

  • tomtom

    LOL i think in all of pro sports only maybe the lakers and possibly Miami could get a solid win over a quality team that played a good game, have 2 of there best 3 players have there best game of the season, have role players making solid contributions (blake and fish!) and STILL get told that things are falling apart! I promise you that the only people talking about this as a real issue is the media, the lakers are looking forward to there next game. By the way if you have Kobe on your team and he is not the first option then quite frankly i don’t think you can be helped.

  • DieselMechanic

    Translation: Aww shucks I’m just honored to be able to coach the great Kobe Bryant. Lakers – Zen = Downward Spiral

  • http://SLAM FLIGHT 9

    Yes, everyone saw it coming anyway… Byron Scott and Mike Brown are the dumbest coach Ive seen.. give the ball to ur point and they just ran the show…. Remember KIdd Nets? CP3 NOH? and lechoke CAVS???

  • KSupreme

    Kobe is my dude….but maaaaan was I angry with him shooting everything! You can tell he was trying to hit 40 pts and trying to prove the everyone he can run with the elite at a high level (which he does, but I don’t prefer him doing it in this fashion) Its not gonna be like this everynight…if he keeps this up, he will have nothing left for playoffs :( …Clearly Mike Browns system is keeping the star player happy, and team revolves around him. I don’t think Mike Brown would know what to do with 2 All stars…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    I thought we were going to see a system centred on the big men? Brown is such a joke . . . .

  • c.a.

    Fisher has 5 rings too. Just saying.

  • AdamD

    You mean the Kidd nets who lost in the finals twice to the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, and the Duncan/Robinson Spurs? I wouldn’t necessarily put that down to bad coaching, more the coming up against Juggernaut teams.

  • tomtom

    Flight, Kobe isn’t a point, neither was ‘lechoke’ as you put it, which by the way was very witty and so original too! :)

  • Alex

    cosign c.a. and really he’s just happy that he will be able to tell his grandkids he coached Kobe and that’s about it

  • tomtom

    Asnwering the 5 rings statement in that way is dumb, and heeeres why. You say, Kobe has 5 rings, i say so what!?, my mom has dozens. That’s dumb right? Well it’s kinda the same thing cos you are just pleading ignorant to the contribution that a certain person made to getting a certain ring. Now argue all you want about ‘who’s team’ it was for the first 3 chips but you cannot deny he made a sizeable forceful contribution sufficive to say the lakers would NOT have won the first 3 without him.

  • Yesse

    Lol, just like in Cleveland.

  • Name

    I saw Bynum score easily in the paint last night, get deep position on the next possession only to see Kobe running up the court and pulling up for a long three that misses badly. Let’s stop pretending that Kobe has great basketball iq. And Mike Brown, grow a f*ckin backbone.

  • charliewinning

    Brown is really a joke we will never see the extent of his talent with an all round star like KB24.

  • charliewinning

    Kobe’s basketball i.q is high, but his ego dwarfs it. As brilliant a player as he is I can never root for the guy. No doubt he wants to win, but he only wants to win as ‘the Man’. Mike Brown is the perfect coach for him because he’s just happy to be there.

  • charliewinning

    12:03 wasn’t me. Get it together Slam.

  • Jer dawg

    Brown knows to stay in his lane. He’s very respectful and demanding at the same time. Hard worker and this will allow him to succeed. Also to allow his main guy to make right decisions. Growing pains for new coach. It will gel soon.

  • Name

    Kobe can still be the man without taking the terrible, ill-advised shots that he does. He’s surrounded by talent, yet he still makes the game hard for himself and his teammates.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    and the lakers will get bounced out early in the playoffs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Jim Buss is such a freakin’ idiot for hiring this bum as Head Coach

  • Allenp

    Again, shocker.

  • Allenp

    In a battle of wills between Kobe and Mike Brown the winner was determined before the fight began. Be real.

  • Heals

    A win always quiets criticism and quells egos, it’s the “big” losses where true sentiments get revealed. Home games v Hou should be won…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I really like this Lakers team. Years past it was a team of ultra-talented players learning to play together. This year is a cast of ultra-hard working players learning to try to win together. Allot more defense and allot more hard work on the floor every night. Oh yeah and Bynum is that dude like I told ya’ll. 20/20 from ma dude

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Yep. All they have to do is learn how to work together to the best of their abilities and LA will be fine

  • http://dsjfklfl.com Jukai

    “… if Mike Brown knows what is good for him”, the article did not necessarily add.

  • Frown4Brown

    WOW…Mike Brown said that he planned on implementing a system similar to when he was in San Antonio with Gasol and Bynum as a Twin Towers and running the offense through them. This is a joke.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Nazr Mohammed had a 20 20 game last season. Is he that dude too? Plus you told us he was capable of averaging 24+ and 12+, not tht he was capable of a couple good games in a row.

  • bike

    This is probably Kobe’s way of breaking Mike Brown in. Jack up a lot of shots with a bad wrist for first 10 games to let him know who’s the boss and then maybe sit down and have a long talk. Only coach on the planet that Kobe respects was PJ.

  • Lew alcindor

    youre the freaking coach, who cares how many rings each guy has, you manage the team.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Okay so he’s at 23, and 17. I was a little off. I said that’s his potential not that he would average that this year. I see him averaging 18-20, and 12 for the year. And yes, that is, THAT DUDE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    “THAT DUDE” kinda indicates he’s the best center. I’m not gonna say Bynum’s the best C, but he is very good.

  • Zane

    How did Mike Brown win a COY? By preaching defence and letting the star player run the offense? What would he do on a team without an all star? Or a team that has 2? Seems like he would be a good assistant coach, but what kind of head coaches offensive plan is to ‘get it to the star player in a good spot’ and get out of the way. Brown is going to get eaten alive out there sooner or later.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol, ok.

  • Mike From Spain

    Pau Gasol has got two rings, two eurobasket and a FIBA world championship. Fish has got 5 rings as well. So why these two have to get less touches than Kobe?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    because he’s Kobe, and they are still wearing Lakers jerseys.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    BP, If “that dude” means your the best at that position than hell no. I didn’t realize “that dude” was an actual measurement for how good someone is. All i’m saying is he is a hell of allot better than most people give credit for. He’s straight ballin out the gate. We’ll see if he gets injured or not. If not, expect one special season from him.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    What if he gets tired? Because 3 games is not a good barometer of anything at all. Starting fast is kinda Bynum’s thing. “Andrew Bynum is apparently off to a great start in L.A. After five games, Bynum is averaging 20.0 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. This is important because the Lakers chances to repeat as champions depend a great deal on the play of Bynum.” (2009-10)

  • Drunyce

    This is not news. Kobe will always have the green light in LA, period. It doesn’t matter who the Coach is.

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    Like you had choice you bum.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah, it just comes down to if you are hoping for him to fail or succeed. Obviously you and I are opposite on the matters. I see the good that can come for Bynum, you see all the negatives. So time will tell. I can’t make Bynum get injured or not get injured. I just see his talent and where that will take him if he is healthy. He has never been in good game shape. He still puts up good numbers and is effective in his limited time. He obviously only needs 30 mins on the floor to be effective. It would be nice if he could be a 34 min per night guy though.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I’m not hoping anything. I’m giving my realistic expectations of what will happen. And him averaged 20 and 12 is his ceiling. Not what I would expect over the course of a season, especially this one.

  • robb

    Hahahahahaha, I knew it. Good ‘ol Mike Brown

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com Marcelus Wallace

    Children, children please. Kobe is smarter than ya’ll. He knows that by taking the heat for shooting a lot takes attention or pressure, if you will, from a young Bynum who still has childish regressions. Kobe is a master of his craft now and you are all puppets.

  • Ben Ireland

    @nbk, loving the research, but the Lakers DID repeat, and it was with alot of help from Bynum, don’t discredit the guy cos it’s early, guy’s been playing outta his mind so far. West All-star? No other centres til Dwight lands LOL.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    didn’t Mike Brown declare a new offense in October to work off their low-post presences? i see they are sticking to the plan.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi
  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Ben that’s a “quotation” – I didn’t write it, I was just showing that Bynum gets off to fast starts. He doesn’t AVERAGE what he produces early in seasons. For example, after his hot start in 2009-10 he ended up averaged 15 and 8.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    averaging* sorry

  • ClydeSays

    Pretty sure every life form on Earth saw this coming….

  • Brahsef

    Lol since when did that dude meant the best at your position. It just means youre a beast. Slang deficiencies

  • SikhWitIt

    As if Mike Brown can do anything about this lol

  • T-Money

    Mike Brown being Mike Brown. I mean, he said before the season that the offense would go through the bigs and now it’s “Kobe can do what he wants”. Mike Brown coaches defense and rides his best player on offense.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Bynum won’t finish the season averaging 20 and 12. If he can’t say “hey Kobe give me the f*ck*ng ball more”, which he can’t and Kobe will never do, then he won’t reach that average imo.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe can do what he wants and Bynum now can be traded straight up for Howard. I still rather have Howard than Bynum. BOOK IT!!

  • Showmeyourwits

    It’s kind of clear who watches the games, and who watches the highlights and box scores regarding the Lakers. Watching the game, I didn’t care how much Kobe was shooting when he scored 8 straight to ice the game after the Rockets pulled to within 4. Bynum will be a 20/10 guy if he stays healthy and out of foul trouble. His averages were low because of Odom being such a good option off the bench, not because of Kobe. How can that even be argued when he’s putting up these numbers while still playing with the same Kobe.

  • Mburb321

    So the injury prone center who chose to go to world cup instead of getting knee surgery on time is unhappy? The same guy who slammed JJ resulting in a 4 game suspension this year is unhappy? How about him just being happy hes finally healthy and able to contribute for once. Should Brown sack up and tell kobe to stop jacking,YES. Should Bynum even have a say in the matter, NO!

  • gary

    D fish has 5 chips too…

  • Justin G.

    Bynum should be demanding the ball but Brown is the one who needs to tell ALL of his players, not just Kobe, that the ball needs to go in the post. Especially against an undersized team like Houston and especially when you see the start that Bynum had. It was frustrating watching last night’s game because you see Bynum get a couple easy baskets overpowering his man and then two consecutive possessions saw Kobe hit a forced turnaround J at the top of the key followed by an early in the clock 3 point attempt. Terrible

  • blink

    Trade kobe for dhoward and then we’ll see if he can being orlando to the finals like lebron did with less talented cavs. Lakers then can trade bynum for eric gordon of your choice. Voila, the lakers will have a better team. Bynum won’t have to worry about being the 3rd option.