In a move that shocked the basketball world, the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday hired Mike Brown as their new head coach, replacing long-time court general and Zen master, Phil Jackson.
This was especially surprising since Brown already has several pans on the stove and umpteen irons in the fire, etc. The et cetera includes gainful employment as a top secret government optometrist, gastroenterologist, urologist, pediatric dentist, world-famous astronomer and planetary assassin, NFL owner of the Cincinnati Bengals, and free agent NFL defensive back who recently lost his job with the Kansas City Chiefs to the new kid on the block, former Tennessee safety Eric Berry, (UPDATE 6/3/11) proprietor of a luxury hotel and creator of the “Hot Brown Sandwich.”
The deal struck with the Lakers calls for a 4-year, $18.25 million contract, which is more coin than the Brown clan has made as a whole since their emergence on the savannas of Africa at the Dawn of Man. This led to speculation that the Browns might go all the way and extend their recently-installed hardwood floors into the bedrooms and finally get around to renovating the hall bathroom.
What made the move even more surprising is that Brown has apparently neither played nor coached basketball for an organized team before–unless you count the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brown, however, sees this as no impediment to coaching in the high-expectation, high-celebrity hothouse of LA, trying to wring a championship effort from a bunch of overpaid, whiny prima donna players who get downright dirty when they’re getting blow off the court by 30 points or more, as was readily apparent during their recent cataclysmic meltdown to the Dallas Mavericks.
“Look, I played a lot of pickup basketball on a rustic, homemade goal erected on an uneven, dirt court in rural Virginia, okay? We had so many rocks and potholes back in those days that you never knew which way the ball was going to bounce. I hear the court at The Staples Center is as smooth as a baby’s butt. In Hollywood-speak, think Hoosiers, only with a dash of Blue Grass music and moonshine thrown in. Believe me, I’ve got this.”
But does he “get” Kobie?, many have asked over the past 24 hours. The way Brown sees it, his linking up with the Italian-speaking former soccer player is a 20/20 match made in Milan.
“Meh, Kobie, Schmobie. He’s alright, I’ll grant you that. But he still hasn’t reached his potential. I think I can bring him along the rest of the way. And if he starts getting all sassy with me like he did with Phil, I’ll just wave my endoscope at him and he’ll fall into line–or else.”
Local celebrity reaction was mostly of the muted, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” variety with one notable and sorta famous exception–relatively well-known (at least in LA) character actor, native Virginian and former high school classmate of Brown’s, Barry Ratcliffe.
“I played basketball with him on that rustic, homemade goal erected on that uneven dirt court in rural Virgina. For a short white guy, he can flat out shoot the rock,” Ratcliffe gushed.
“Plus, he’s durn smart. He was even salutatorian of the Franklin County High School Class of 1980. Heck, he would have been valedictorian if Coach “Red” Stickney hadn’t stuck him with that B in driver’s ed. Coach never did like the ‘smart kids’ very much.”
A noted defensive tactician, Brown envisions bringing his signature “Rough ‘Em Up D” to LA for some serious headbanging: “Can you imagine Lamar Odom sticking Dirk with an NFL-style, shoulder-down tackle right below his armpits? Not even the big German could stand up to that. Oh, wait…”
Brown was immediately contacted by a slew of Southern California realtors anxious to sign up LA’s hottest commodity since Cheech and Chong and sell him and his family an exclusive property in Brentwood or Santa Monica. It became clear, however, that Brown had other ideas.
“We were thinking more along the lines of an earthquake-ready, wild fire-proof, moderately-sized mansion in Malibu with an ocean view–at Huntsville, Alabama prices, of course. Oh, and it’s got to have one of them thar “cement ponds.” I hear you can even see Pluto from there–not that anybody would want to after I finished killing it off.”
When told that the only way to accomplish that was to immediately resign from the Lakers and join the Pepperdine University faculty, Brown had an even better idea.
“I’ll go you one further. I’m willing to become the head coach of the Pepperdine Waves. I hear they’re getting a fancy new arena soon, and what better way to break it in than with a multitasking son-of-a-gun from Alabama at the helm? I know a thing or two about “Rolling Tides.”
In another surprise announcement, the popular blog Ocular Fusion is coming to an end. It is being replaced by a new cable channel–The Ocular Fusion Network.