Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By JOSH NEWMANSpecial to ZAGSBLOGNEW YORK – The biggest story in the NBA on Friday was the Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to fire head coach Mike Brown after 71 regular season games and a 1-4 start this season.
Also on Friday, it just so happened that one of the league’s more colorful and outspoken characters, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, met with the New York media before his team faced the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
When the topic of Brown and the Lakers was broached, one could probably imagine Cuban’s response.
“The Lakers, like the Knicks, like every other team, I hope they fail miserably,” Cuban said. “Nothing surprises me. Every team is different, every team has their own approach and I just hope it was a huge mistake and they continue to make them.”
Cuban was quick to reference his 2006-07 team, which started 0-4 under then-head coach Avery Johnson. That squad ripped off 12 straight wins after the 0-4 start and finished the regular season 67-15 before losing in six games to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.
A quick-trigger on Johnson that year may have been comparable to what the Lakers did to Brown on Friday afternoon, but that simply isn’t how Cuban operates.
“I don’t judge anything after five games, four games, whatever,” Cuban said. “It has nothing to do with the Lakers. Just my attitude in general about team-building is you have to have a culture and a variety of pieces. There’s various slots you have to fill. Every team approaches it their own way. In this league, anything can happen. There’s been times I wanted to fire coaches five games in, but I don’t know. It’s not my team, not my chair, not my problem.”
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