It’s no secret that Mike Brown isn’t big on offensive schemes. He’s made his mark on coaching the defensive side of the game. And his stamp on the Lakers defensively is clearly evident, but players are starting to get concerned about their offensive issues. So much so that they have reportedly had private meetings to discuss running the elements of the Triangle offense.
Brown’s effect on the Lakers’ defense has been undeniable, but sources say the team’s ongoing struggles on the road — with L.A. dropping to 6-14 away from Staples Center following a loss in Detroit and blowing a 21-point lead to the undisciplined Wizards — have some veterans longing for a return to the trusty Triangle offense preferred by Brown’s predecessor, Phil Jackson.
ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard recently reported that Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher called a players-only meeting after a win against Portland on Feb. 21 to address concerns about Brown’s style, as well as persistent trade rumors involving Pau Gasol.
While that meeting might have quelled some of the tension in the short term, these two latest losses have brought the issues right back to the forefront and perhaps even exacerbated the situation as the team nears the March 15 trade deadline, continuing to languish in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference.
Sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com that multiple players have continued to meet privately since the initial team meeting to discuss running elements of the Triangle offense again.
“The players want to unify,” one source with knowledge of the situation said. “They know how to win, and they want to fix this. I don’t know if they can, though. “
If you didn’t see this eventually coming, you haven’t been paying attention. Mike Brown was already at a disadvantage because he was replacing a legend in Phil Jackson. Add a struggling, veteran Lakers bunch that is used to winning big and what you have is a recipe for undermining. The key to all of this is how Brown handles this.
If takes the approach that this is his team and refuses input from the veterans, this won’t end well for him. But if he bends a little, this could smooth itself out. Especially if they can somehow get a point guard that can actually contribute.