How the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers handles Kobe Bryant, a hyperaggressive superstar moving deep into his 30s, will be among the most important factors in whether said coach succeeds. As the Lakers prepare to hire Mike Brown, then, let it be known that, according to SI.com's Sam Amick, Kobe is "surprised" at the news that Brown is the choice, having stumped for longtime Lakers assistant Brian Shaw.
Brown, the former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has reportedly been offered a contract and could become the new coach of the Lakers as soon as Wednesday. Brown's candidacy was just recently confirmed; he had been the top candidate for the vacant Golden State Warriors position, but the Lakers' job is more appealing as L.A. is ready (and determined) to contend for championships, not just a playoff spot.
Amick also reports, as does Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, that Kobe was not consulted about hiring Brown. Amick reports that Jim Buss, the heir apparent to longtime Lakers owner Jerry Buss, led this hiring process and has chosen Brown. It's unclear how Jim Buss' relationship with Kobe plays into the Shaw snub, or how the decision not to hire Shaw will affect Kobe's feelings toward Buss. Jim Buss is widely known to be a huge backer of Andrew Bynum, though; don't be surprised if the Lakers' on-court pecking order is disturbed along the way, with Bynum taking new importance.