June 23, 2011
New Lakers coach Mike Brown is a blue-collar kind of man, someone who earned his head coaching job with the Cleveland Cavaliers at a very young age and turned them into a defensive-minded outfit of hard-working tough guys. He'll try to do the same in Los Angeles, but it'll be tough in the city of Showtime and Jack Nicholson.
Simply put, Brown needs to get a better sense of the city's culture before we can mold the team in his image. As such, he needs a permanent home. What better place than Orange County, the land where dreams flourish? Based on the recommendation of Vanessa Bryant, wife of Kobe, Brown seems to have settled on The OC as his preferred place of residence. From Kevin Ding for the Orange County Register:
New Lakers coach Mike Brown was definitely listening when Vanessa Bryant was breaking down the ins and outs of Orange County for him.
Brown and his star player Kobe Bryant(notes) will be fellow Orange County residents. Brown is buying a house in Anaheim Hills — and it's a lot of house at 9,500 square feet — and will brave the commute from the intersection of the 91 and 55 freeways to El Segundo for practice and downtown Los Angeles for games.
According to Google Maps, that'll be 45 minutes to practice without traffic (but an hour and 20 minutes with traffic) and 43 minutes to Staples without traffic (but an hour and 40 minutes with traffic.)
Those traffic estimates are very optimistic, because it once took me roughly four days to drive from downtown to Anaheim for an Angels game. I drank motor oil to stay hydrated and ate a blanket I keep in the trunk for park visits.
Ding notes that Brown likely wants to live in The OC so that his teenaged sons Elijah and Cameron can play for SoCal sports powerhouse Mater Dei High School. That's as good a reason as any, I suppose, but it seems that the Browns may have chosen their new hometown without fully investigating the surrounding area. With that in mind, here are a few interesting tidbits about Orange County:
1. Mickey Mouse is mayor, although it is mostly a ceremonial position. The majority of civic decisions are made by treasurer Colin Hanks, star of the hit film "Orange County."
2. After the Angels changed their full name to the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim," the city changed its official name to "Los Angeles of Anaheim." Only transplants call it that, though.
3. August 5 is a county holiday in honor of the 2003 premiere of the FOX series "The OC." No one works, instead choosing to attend a parade featuring stars like Peter Gallagher and Melinda Clarke. Olivia Wilde is invited and never shows up. Rachel Bilson has been banned after saying she "never liked that show much anyway" in 2006.
4. The county fruit is the strawberry, surprisingly enough.
5. When you enter county lines, the temperature immediately jumps 20 degrees.
You're going to love it, Mike! There's a reason they call it "the Cleveland of the West."