After a disappointing season a year ago, coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers now has a fully reloaded and re-energized roster entering the 2012-2013 season, and are now primed and ready to make a run towards the franchise's 17th NBA championship.
During a conference call on Thursday morning, Laker analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet and NBA Hall of Famer James Worthy discussed what he expects from Brown this season, and how the addition of Steve Nash can impact Brown's role as a head coach.
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"With Steve Nash - it's like having a coach on the floor. This is not a young team. I think when you have veteran players, guys who have been in the league, you don't necessarily have chemistry issues with guys who are looking to win."
Worthy also mentioned that Brown will have to do what he does best, and make sure the team's defense is up to par.
"It's the defense. Mike Brown is a great defensive coach, and that's what I think the focus will be on.
"Brown has to hold his own. He has to own it. Last year he was trying to deal with the personalities. He has to take charge. He has to take control. Not that he didn't (last year), but I think a lot of the time he tried to incorporate too much and had too much on his plate."
The Lakers started out last season with a renewed sense of urgency on the defensive end, but by the end of the season it appears that the urgency vacated the mentality of the team.
There's no doubt that the team can only go as far as the coach can lead them, and there have been questions surrounding Brown ever since he was hired by the Lakers prior to last season. But if there's one example he can look to as a somewhat similar scenario it's Erik Spoelstra in Miami. He was another coach handed the basketball equivalent of a lofty trust fund and had to mature as a coach in order to take them over the top. He succeeded, leading Miami to the 2012 NBA title.