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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Mike Brown has all the Lakers need, except charisma

By Marla Published: May 26, 2011

The LA Lakers' hiring of former Cavs coach Mike Brown to succeed Phil Jackson may have turned some heads in Northeast Ohio, especially since Brown could never win a championship with LeBron James. But in a year without a big-name candidate, the Lakers could have done much worse.

Brown is 41 years old. Taking over an aging roster, he's young enough to oversee the rebuilding process whenever management deems it must begin. He can teach his defense-first mentality when the roster revamping begins.

He has the credentials -- a 272-138 record in five years, coach of the year in 2008-09 -- that should earn him respect. He's learned from the best, most notably San Antonio's Gregg Popovich.

There's no question Brown knows defense. While his offense in Cleveland seemed primitive, he can hire an offensive coordinator in LA.

He can also draw on his years with James in handling superstar Kobe Bryant, who endorsed assistant Brian Shaw and may not be pleased that he was not consulted on this hire. One would assume there are plenty of things Brown wishes he'd done with James that will help him with Bryant.

Brown is also a nice, sincere man. Some have questioned whether he's too nice. But my biggest concern for Brown in his new job will be his lack of charisma and his relatively boring (and borderline goofy) persona in front of the television cameras. Maybe his time on ESPN since he was fired by the Cavs has helped in that regard. Maybe he's learned a little more about charming the media. When he wasn't delivering nuggets of news, many tuned him out at the end of his Cleveland tenure. That kind of personality won't play well in Hollywood, especially when he's following the Zen Master.

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