Replacements for Mike Brown

If Phil Jackson doesn't return, could Kobe Bryant be a player-coach? Don't laugh. Getty Images

Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown has always had a consistent idea for how he wants his squads to play basketball and, because of that, he probably shouldn't have been the Lakers' coach to start the season. Not with this roster.

But Brown was retained and kept on even after general manager Mitch Kupchak changed the complexion of the roster this summer. On the surface, the decision to fire Brown after five games is laughably absurd. The Lakers have two brand-new core players, one of whom is injured (Steve Nash) and the other who is still less than 100 percent after back surgery (Dwight Howard). Plus, Brown's players were still acclimating to a version of Eddie Jordan's Princeton offense.

It seems unfair to fire a coach after such a small sample size and with so many obstacles to work around. Nevertheless, the Lakers' sin wasn't to give up on Brown too soon but too late.