EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – It is easy to paint the firing of Mike Brown just five games into the second season of a four-year, $18 million contract as an overreaction of Steinbrenner-like proportions.
The firing of Brown simply was an acknowledgement by Jim Buss -- the son of Lakers owner Jerry Buss -- that he never should have hired Brown in the first place.
Read into the Princeton offense, the hard-driving practices, the absent defensive intensity of the early season all you like, but they were simply symptomatic of a problem that should have been apparent the first time Jim Buss sat down with Brown.
He isn’t a big picture guy. Brown is, as general manager Mitch Kupchak noted in opening his press conference Friday, a genuine and decent man, and it would be hard to find a coach who devotes more of himself to the job.
All of which is a way of saying that Buss should swallow his pride again – the way he did Friday in acknowledging one mistake – and correct another by bringing back Phil Jackson.