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Mike Brown Firing Demonstrates How Not Serious the Wizards Are

Lakers MIke Brown fired after 5 bad games. Wizards extend Ernie Grunfeld despite nearly a decade of futility. Flickr

The Lakers have fired head coach Mike Brown after a 1-4 start to the season. While I think this move is preposterously premature, it illustrates how non-serious Ted Leonsis and the Wizards are about winning.

Brown coached one strike lockout-shortened season plus five games for the Lakers. During that time, the team earned the third seed in the Western Conference and lost in the second round of the playoffs to the eventual Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder. After a bad preseason (0-8) and a 1-4 start, the Lakers canned him.

The Wizards have been led the past nine seasons by Ernie Grunfeld. During Grunfeld's tenure, the Wizards accumulated a 284-441 record, good for a .392 winning percentage -- third worst in the league during that span. Using the simple rating system (SRS) at Basketball-Reference (which combines scoring margin with a strength of schedule measure), the Wizards have been the league's second worst team since Grunfeld took over. Only Charlotte has been more inept.

During Grunfeld's tenure, the team has won 26 or fewer games five times, including each of the past four.

Yet not only has Grunfeld not been fired, he received a contract extension late last season.

To summarize:

  • Mike Brown: okay job last season; rough start this season -- fired.
  • Ernie Grunfeld: one of the league's worst teams over the past decade; four consecutive debaculous years -- contract extension.