Now that there is a little distance from the initial fever of the Dwight Howard trade, reactions are starting to pour in as to how parties felt when they found out that the trade was finally in the books.
For good reason there was no one that went off as hard as Lakers coach Mike Brown did.
“I got a little excited,” Brown told ESPN. “I tried to jump up and down, but my mind was telling me to do something that my body wouldn’t allow me to do. I almost pulled my hamstring sitting down. I don’t know if that’s ever happened to anybody, but I was so excited that my leg tensed up. I almost tore my hamstring. So I got up slowly and gave him and Jim Buss a hug. That might be the first hug they’ve gotten from their coach, ever, when it comes to a trade happening.”
I’m sure that hug was a deep one and now that he has Howard and another newcomer in veteran point guard Steve Nash, Brown is probably gliding up and down the streets of Los Angeles humming the James Brown standard “I Feel Good.”
While Howard may be the current talk of the town, Nash will get the keys to the car.
“The way that we’ll put it together, Steve’s going to have an opportunity — he’s going to quarterback the team,” Brown said. “And so he’s going to have an opportunity to come down the floor every possession and in early offense play pick-and-roll if he wants to. It’s up to him, based on where he decides to take the ball or a call that he makes or an action that he does, it’s up to him to get us into some of the looks of the Princeton offense.”
“So again, with him quarterbacking, or making that decision, he’ll still have a chance to get the ball back after he moves or after bodies move. I don’t want to completely give away what we’re trying to do, but in a nutshell, he will have an opportunity to play pick-and-roll at the beginning of almost every play set coming down the floor in early offense. And if not, he can also choose to get to some of the looks out of the Princeton by making a pass or doing an action or doing a call or whatever.”
The coach’s comments certainly seem a lot more optimistic than some of his quotes from last season when he admitted that he got off to a rough start “connecting” with his players.
“It was tough in that regard,” Brown said. “ Everything was so rushed, and not only was everything so rushed, you’re talking about a culture that’s been what it was for 10, 12 years — however long they’ve been going this way. I don’t think there are any two guys that are the same out there. For Phil [Jackson] to be here and to have the success that he had for as long as he had, for me to come in — and obviously being myself because I can’t be Phil — that had to have been a culture shock to the players, too.
“It took some time, but I thought that as the year went along, especially during the playoffs, we were pretty connected.”
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