LeBron James—former pupil of Mike Brown in Cleveland, and sometime teammate, sometime rival of Kobe Bryant, doesn't think Mike Brown got "a fair shake" in Los Angeles. James said to ESPN, "I've got a lot to say, but I'm not going to say it right now," before his interview was cut off by a Miami PR person, but he made it clear that he thinks Brown got a raw deal. James may have wanted to throw some shade at the Lakers front office, but James also knows a little something about getting Mike Brown fired: Brown was let go by Cleveland after his relationship with LeBron supposedly went off the rails, even though LeBron ended up leaving for Miami later that summer. If anyone knows how a front office works in relation to its superstar—and how Mike Brown might end up losing at that one-sided game—it's LeBron.
Lamar Odom was vague as well, but there was no PR person there to stop him from saying something super weird, and slightly more indicative of his feelings. When asked (by a TMZ paparazzo) whether Kobe played a role in Brown's dismissal, Odom replied with a question: "What's the most important tool in America? It's power." Very profound! Lamar Odom thinks Kobe Bryant got Mike Brown fired.
As for NBA players, most of those to weigh in were former players or totally inoffensive in their commentary, which may say something about the influence Kobe wields in the league. Of course, Magic Johnson, analyst extraordinaire, gave a half-hearted punch in the back to Brown on his way out:
Feel bad for Coach Mike Brown, who's a great guy, but don't think he was the right guy for the job in the first place.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 9, 2012
For his part, Brown didn't seem all that worried. The ever-indefatigable TMZ—which is covering this like its the overthrow of Batista—caught him smiling and taking pictures with fans at Chick-fil-A a few hours after the Lakers announced his historically quick dismissal.