Mike Brown: ESPN Interview

Earlier on Wednesday, the Lakers released a statement about Mike Brown:

“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.”

On Wednesday evening, Brown joined ESPN’s NBA crew to respond to a few questions at halftime of the Mavs – Thunder Western Conference Finals matchup:

Opening Statement:
Brown: First of all, I want to say thank you to the Buss (family), to Dr. Buss, Jim (Buss) and also (Lakers GM) Mitch Kupchak for giving me this opportunity. This is a special situation for me, and I’m extremely excited. No disrespect to Phil (Jackson) at all, I respect everything that he’s done, but I’m here to continue to try to help this organization carve a championship path that has already been laid. I’m excited about that opportunity, I know I’m not going to fill his, like (Jon Barry) said, his Ronald McDonald Shoes, but I am excited to carve my own path with this team going forward.

Q: On if he’s spoken to Kobe Bryant, and what to expect from Brown:
Brown: Kobe and I have exchanged texts tonight. I imagine we will get on the phone at one point or another. He was busy with his family at one point and so was I, so we weren’t able to hook up by phone. I’m a big family guy, so what you can expect from a Coach Brown team is a family atmosphere, a defensive-minded team. As you all know, I thrive and I love that end of the floor, because I believe that’s what can help you win championships. I want a hard-working team, but yet and still, I want a team-first team. So those are the types of things that you will see from my group of guys.

Q: On what he learned from coaching LeBron James in Cleveland that he can apply to coaching Bryant:
Brown: There is a lot that I learned, not only from LeBron but from other players that I was fortunate enough to work with and coach in Cleveland. But they’re both great competitors … but I’m not going to compare the two because they’re two different guys. Obviously I don’t know Kobe as well, but I’m looking forward to getting to know Kobe, and being able to work with him to go get us a championship, because that’s the level of expectation that you have being a Laker. Kobe’s a Hall of Famer, we all know that. We all know the amount of rings that he has. To me, that’s special, and that just adds to the chemistry when you’re trying to forge and go after another one.

Q: On people in Los Angeles expecting an exciting team:
Brown: I believe we can be exciting, and I say that because I thought we were exciting in Cleveland. My first few years, if you go back and take a look at it, we laid a foundation defensively because I thought that team needed to have an identity. I didn’t think that that identity was laid, so that’s the direction we went in terms of how much time we spent in practice on that end of the floor. But as the years went along, we did open it up to a certain degree, and in my last two years, we were a top five defensive team, but not a lot of people took a look at the other side of the ball. But if you do, we were a top five offensive team in field goal percentage, and we were up there in points per game. So I’m excited about getting to L.A., and starting the process with the guys. I’m going to sit back and listen to what they have to say, because I do have a plan, and I feel confident about the plan that I have on that end of the floor.