The Los Angeles Lakers Will Let Go Assistant GM Ronnie Lester When His Contract Expires In June
LOS ANGELES(CBS) — CBS Sports has confirmed that Mike Brown and the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to 4-year, $18.25 million deal. Team option for 4th year. Brown will also receive $2.5 million if option is not taken.
Brown will be the 9th Lakers’ head coach, not including interim coaches, to serve under Dr. Jerry Buss.
The Los Angeles Lakers have released a statement saying, “In response to rampant speculation and reports about our head coaching position and Mike Brown, we’ve met with Mike and are very impressed with him. In addition, we have an outline for an agreement in place and hope to sign a contract within the next few days.”
Previous reports had Brown close to a deal following owner Jerry Buss telling reporters that the Lakers were “very close” to a new head coach.
Brown brings pluses and minuses, as he is a stellar defensive coach respected by veterans like those the Lakers have. Conversely, Brown is also a questionable offensive coach, relying on offensive assistants for help in that area. He is known as a key motivator, which the Lakers could clearly use after a lackadaisical season. But there are questions about his ability to wrangle stars after the way LeBron James dominated the situation in Cleveland. Now he faces an even more ego-heavy locker room.
There will be questions as to why Rick Adelman was not given the job, but Brown is a capable coach who fits in well with the veteran Lakers squad. It’s a move for both stability and change, just what Buss was looking for.
Brown, 41, coached the Cavaliers from 2005-2006 to 2000-2010, winning 50+ games in four of those five seasons. He took the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2006-2007. He was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2009 but parted ways with the team in the early summer of 2010, shortly before All-Star forward LeBron James left the franchise to play for the Miami Heat. Prior to his time in Cleveland, Brown was an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.
His name first surfaced with regard to the Lakers position last week.
Assistant general manager Ronnie Lester will not be returning to the Lakers as they will not be renewing his contract that expires in June.