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Laker Coach Mike Brown Gets Jim Buss’ Endorsement

Jim Buss, Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president, hardly content with his team’s 1-4 start, but he has “no problem” with coach Mike Brown, Buss said.

“You don’t start 0-3 for the first time since we’ve owned the franchise without being on top of it,” Buss told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “No matter what, you have to be aware. That doesn’t mean change is coming. That just means you have to be aware.”

Much of the blame from observers has been toward Brown and the offense he has installed that is failing miserably despite the addition of all-star center Dwight Howard and now-injured point guard Steve Nash to go with future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant..

“I have no problems with Mike Brown at all,” Buss said. “He just works too hard and he’s too knowledgeable for this to be happening.

“So either the system is flawed or something’s going on. Or, like the Triangle, it’s very hard to pick up and understand. I’m not a basketball mind like he is or the players are, and the players are fine with it, so I just have to be patient.”

Buss said he has been gauging player reaction to the Lakers’ new Princeton offense, Brown and how they’re dealing with the slow start by reading their public comments and talking to them directly. On Tuesday afternoon, he went down from his office to the court during practice to take their temperature, and he said he found things to be rather calm.

“Kobe and I have a relationship where he can just look at me and say, ‘Everything’s cool,’ ” Buss said. “So yesterday during practice, I gave Kobe a quick glance, and everything was cool.”

Bryant has continued to preach patience as the Lakers have struggled. Last week he said, “Everybody shut up. Let us work,” when asked about fan reaction to the Lakers’ slow adjustment to the system. But in Wednesday’s loss to the Jazz, even Bryant’s frustration seemed to elevate and he was caught on camera starting down Brown during a timeout in the waning moments of the fourth.

When asked about his frustration level after the game, Bryant deadpanned it was, “Just a little bit.”

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