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Los Angeles Lakers fire Mike Brown, but it's Jim Buss who needs to step down

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The Lakers have built a winning franchise based on integrity, patience and a team-first mentality. The great Dr. Jerry Buss has built a legacy that seemed like it could never be tarnished given the franchise's 16 NBA titles and consistent ability to remain competitive in all circumstances.

That is until his son, Jim Buss, began to make basketball decisions that created a host of new issues for the Lakers, the latest being the firing of head coach Mike Brown. Ousting the head coach may have been the right move, but it's his initial hiring that was perplexing. Still, it's just one of many instances in a calamity of errors by the man calling the shots.

Aside from giving Brown a vote of confidence just days ago and subsequently parting ways with the former Coach of the Year shortly after, Buss has created further issues.

First, the younger Buss is responsible for drafting Andrew Bynum, and to put it in perspective, that may be the best thing he's done for this franchise even as the team has since parted ways with him. He's the primary person responsible for separating a roster full of stars from the offense they thrived in after he failed to hire Brian Shaw after Phil Jackson's departure.

A lesson in irony is that Lakers' fans were showing relative patience after a 1-4 start and not unilaterally calling for the coach's head, often echoing the sentiment to stay the course.

The move to fire Brown was a knee-jerk reaction and indicates genuine panic in Hollywood. The biggest concern is that it has never been in the Lakers' DNA to react in any way but methodically and calculated when facing adversity.

If this is the new modus operandi of the Lakers, then they're in for a troubled future.

Buss' decision to fire Brown after just five games shows a lack of patience and basketball acumen in general. It's not possible to put superstars together and expect them to win without any real adoption of a system. Whether the Princeton offense was right or wrong for the team, it still doesn't make sense to make them start over after training camp and after the regular season started.

The bottom line is that Brown never got the time he deserved.

No matter what, a new coach will have nuances and schemes that will take time to pick up. Buss has burned bridges with the two coaches -- Phil Jackson and Brian Shaw -- who can give the Lakers some sense of familiarity. But the fact that egos played a major part in their departure set a precedent that will play a role in Buss' hesitation to pick up the phone and call Jackson to come back. Don't expect him to give Shaw another shot either after the former Lakers assistant had to find out that he was not selected for the head job following Jackson's departure by watching the news.

Basketball operations should be left to the personnel who are experienced and equipped to make those decisions, namely general manager Mitch Kupchak and the rest of the front office. Jerry Buss was a players' owner who knew how to let his personnel do what they were hired to do.

Jim Buss, on the other hand, has done nothing but make waves. The drama in Laker-land continues, and it's all because he failed his organization by overreacting, not trusting his people and treating the NBA like a fantasy league.

It was all in the making long before firing Brown.

Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA. He is also the Editor of Sports Out West.

You can follow him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets

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