Lakers fire Mike Brown as coach
The Lakers have fired Mike Brown as coach after the team’s 1-4 start, according to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it.
Brown was barely a month into his second season with the team, which struggled badly amid high expectations.
[Updated at 12:05 p.m.: “This was a difficult and painful decision to make,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Mike was very hard-working and dedicated, but we felt it was in the best interest of the team to make a change at this time. We appreciate Mike’s efforts and contributions and wish him and his family the best of luck.”
It was believed to be the earliest firing of a coach in the team’s history. Del Harris was relieved of his duties 12 games into the 1999 season.
[Update at 12:20 p.m.: “I have great respect for the Buss family and the Lakers’ storied tradition and I thank them for the opportunity they afforded me,” Brown said in a statement. “I have a deep appreciation for the coaches and players that I worked with this past year and I wish the organization nothing but success as they move forward.”]
The Lakers were 41-25 in Brown’s first season, losing to Oklahoma City in the second round of the playoffs.
The team has had trouble picking up Brown’s Princeton-based offense and has also lagged defensively.
[Updated at 10:45 a.m.: Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach tonight’s game against Golden State but the Lakers will conduct a national search for a long term replacement. Candidates could include Mike D’Antoni, Jerry Sloan, Nate McMillan and Phil Jackson.]
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