Source: Lakers agree to hire Brown

The Los Angeles Lakers have reached agreement in principle to hire Mike Brown as their next coach, a league source with knowledge of the talks told Yahoo! Sports.

Mike Brown is a coaching candidate for the Lakers and Warriors. A close league friend told Yahoo! Sports, "He really wants this [the Lakers job] to happen."
(Getty Images)

Brown will receive a four-year, $18 million contract, the source said. The final season is at the team’s option.

Brown replaces Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, who retired after the Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs. Brown previously coached the Cleveland Cavaliers before he was fired in the summer of 2010. He went 272-138 in five seasons in Cleveland.

Lakers vice president Jim Buss conducted the search, with his father, Jerry, and general manager Mitch Kupchak assisting the owner’s son, sources said.

Los Angeles had considered longtime assistant Brian Shaw and Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman, but the focus narrowed to Brown, who spent this season as an NBA analyst for ESPN.

The Lakers and Brown’s representation spent Tuesday discussing salary and length of contract before agreeing to terms on Wednesday.

A close league friend of Brown’s told Yahoo! Sports, “He really wants this [the Lakers job] to happen.”

The Golden State Warriors also had Brown atop the list to fill their vacancy for several weeks.

Brown led the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals, and won the Coach of the Year award in 2009. His Cavaliers teams were among the best defensive units in the league, which Lakers management seems determined to find in a replacement for Jackson. Nevertheless, there were often criticisms of Brown’s offensive system. Brown had an up-and-down relationship with LeBron James, who appeared to lose faith in Brown near the end of their tenure together.

Brown takes over a Lakers team that had reached the NBA Finals three consecutive years – winning titles in 2009 and ’10 – before being swept by the Mavericks in this season’s second round.


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Updated Wednesday, May 25, 2011