The Los Angeles Lakers are undoubtedly in a funk as the revamped team continues to struggle with its new Princeton style offense.
But no matter their 1-4 record, the franchise's worst start since the 1993-94 season, head coach Mike Brown continues to lead with the full support of the Lakers' front office. Executive vice president Jim Buss said that he and his father, Jerry, the team owner, as well as Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers general manager, are 100 percent behind Brown.
According to Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register, team management is confident Brown will find a way to make it work with his new players. But expectations are undeniably high. The team acquired two-time MVP Steve Nash this offseason, as well as Dwight Howard, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, and Antawn Jamison, a sure-fire candidate for Sixth Man of the Year this season:
"I'm a hundred percent behind Mike Brown," Buss said. "Mitch is. My dad is. We as a collective soul are behind him 100 percent."
Buss told ESPNLosAngeles that the slow start doesn't necessarily mean management will shake things up. During practice on Tuesday, a day before the Lakers would drop their fourth game of the season in a loss to the Utah Jazz, Buss said Kobe Bryant indicated to him that "everything was cool." After the loss to the Jazz, however, Bryant said he is frustrated.
Still, Buss isn't panicking:
"You have to give it time to understand [what's going on]. I don't know if there's an actual game total that would make me impatient. I know if we're 1-15, I don't think that would be very good. I'm sure that would be a panic button. But at this time, I'm fine with what's going on. It's a learning process for the players. As long as everybody is on the same page, I think we're fine."
Howard agrees with Buss that now is not the time to panic, and if there is a reason, he said it's best for him and Bryant to keep their frustrations "on the inside" so as to not bring their teammates down:
“I think sometimes as a team we got to be able to not really show our frustrations that much. A lot of the guys look at me and Kobe and they feed off us, so we have to do a better job of keeping our frustrations on the inside and just playing through it so our teammates won’t get down on themselves. So, we just got to do a better job at that.
Bryant was seen giving Brown a long stare with the Jazz up seven with 25 seconds left in the game. Howard said he knows Bryant is frustrated but said they've got to remain focused:
“I know [Kobe] was a little frustrated tonight. He wants to win just as bad as all of us do, but we just got to stay together, remember it’s a process, and stay focused.The Lakers are now 1-12 including preseason games. They play their next six games at home, starting with the Golden State Warriors on Friday night. The Warriors beat the Lakers by 27 points in an October preseason game that marked Nash's debut. But he likely won't be on hand for their first regular season match up against Golden State as he continues to rehab a bruised leg.