The Lakers don't do 1-4

November 9, 2012, 7:41 pm
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If you think about it, Kobe Bryant went easy on Mike Brown when he gave him the shark-eye Wednesday night. He could have just turned him into a pillar of salt.And even if you dont factor in the heart disease that comes with that much salt, thats still way worse than merely being fired.Brown got his after the Lakers became the first team since . . . uhh, last year, and every year before that since the earth cooled . . . to start a season 1-4. He got it for not having the kind of throw-weight to keep the players attention, and if the blame for his dismissal falls on Bryant, well, there wont be that much blame. You go 1-4 with the Lakers, youre lucky not to be tied the front of a Lamborghini Murcielago and rammed into a wall.But that was the job Brown took, and he knew it when he took it. He had to take a rapidly aging roster, convince it to run a new offense, lose his point guard, and still make it work. That, and a billion dollars, makes you a billionaire.He isnt the first one to fail to do an undoable job. That he is a convenient scapegoat is frankly what he signed up for, though, so sympathy for him and his plight is what we in the medical community call misplaced.The next poor hyena to take the job . . . er, Nate McMillan . . . will learn this as well. The Lakers could throw Steve Nash and Dwight Howard into the side, but it was going to take for them to absorb each others styles, let alone a whole new offense. Whatever Brown could have done in place of the Princeton sets was going to suffer just as much, just because Nash plays differently than Bryant plays differently than Howard. The math is inescapable, the interpersonal relations soluble only with time. Lots more time than the Lakers gave this little experiment.So the future? Theyll be fine. They were going to be fine with Brown, but patience is what happens to other people in other cities. In the perfect world, Jerry Buss would rise from whatever poker table he is wedged into a hire Stan Van Gundy . . . you know, just to see if Howard has the same death-stare powers that Bryant does.But that wont happen, because the Lakers do not have a sense of humor, and never have. Here, they could learn a thing or six from the Warriors, where hilarity ensues after practice, and where every ankle is made of corn chips. The Warriors are, frankly, funny as hell.The Lakers? Not so much. They dont do 1-4, so they do coaches. Mike Brown took the job knowing exactly what it was. Thatll teach him. But it could have been worse.It could been much higher in sodium content.Ray Ratto is a columnist for