Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! came out guns blazin' on the Los Angeles Lakers' hire of Mike Brown as the next head coach. Woj reports that Kobe wasn't consulted on the fire, and definitely did not consult LeBron James on the two-time MVP's longtime coach. Woj pins it all on Jim Buss' desire to extract the memory of Phil Jackson from the organization.
[Brown]'s something else too: Jim Buss' way of pushing far from Phil Jackson, passing over longtime assistant Brian Shaw, and staking claim to his own guy. ... Now, Jim Buss has two guys in the franchise: Brown and Andrew Bynum. In fact, Buss has made something clear within the Lakers, sources say: Bynum is untouchable in trade talks.
Yep. This is where a Kobe Bryant-Andrew Bynum feud begins.
As I wrote back when the Lakers were facing elimination in the NBA Playoffs, the passing of the baton isn't going down easily in L.A.
Kobe is slowing down in terms of effectiveness. He's still better than almost every other guard in the league, and he's better than any 32-year-old. There will come a point when Bynum passes Kobe as the most effective Laker, most important Laker. There will come a point when Bynum demands the ball in the pivot, demands more shots, demands a say. There will come a point when Bynum will make a stand, and when Kobe will have to decide whether to remind everyone's he's Kobe Bryant, or to stand down.
We know Kobe, and we know Kobe has not traditionally been willing to stand down.
Now Mike Brown steps into the mess. Woj notes that Brown and Bryant can be allies in pushing the Lakers toward more of a defensive identity. But offense is half of the game, and Bynum isn't going to be happy watching Kobe take 25 shots a game while he only gets 12. And Bynum is Jim Buss' golden child. And Brown reports and owes his job to Jim Buss. And Jim Buss is running the show.
That's where a feud begins.