LOS ANGELES May 26 – The Los Angeles Lakers said they are close to finalizing a deal with Mike Brown to succeed Phil Jackson as the National Basketball Association team's new head coach.The Lakers did not go into details but said Wednesday they hoped to sign the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Brown by the end of the week.
"In response to rampant speculation and reports about our head coaching position and Mike Brown, we’ve met with Mike and are very impressed with him," Lakers spokesman John Black said.
"In addition, we have an outline for an agreement in place and hope to sign a contract within the next few days."
The 41-year-old Brown works as a television analyst at ESPN which first reported that the two sides were getting close to a deal.
Nothing is official but the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Brown was expected to sign a contract late Wednesday or Thursday.
The Times said the deal could be worth between $4 million and $4.5 million a season and good for four years with an option.
Brown would be facing the difficult challenge of replacing coaching icon Phil Jackson. Jackson has 11 championship rings with Los Angeles and the Chicago Bulls and last season led the Lakers to their 16th NBA title in franchise history.
Jackson retired after the Lakers were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of this year’s playoffs.
Brown was head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for five seasons until he was fired last year. In 2009, he was named the NBA’s coach of the year.
The Cavaliers made it to the 2007 NBA finals but were eliminated in four straight games by San Antonio.