Mitch Kupchak addresses the firing of Mike Brown

General Manager Mitch Kupchak announces the trade of Derek Fisher last winter.
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak spoke to the media Friday, addressing the team’s firing of Coach Mike Brown.

“Today we relieved Mike Brown of his head coaching duties,” Kupchak said. “Mike’s a good man, very hard working, maybe one of the hardest-working coaches that I’ve ever been around. The bottom line is that the team was not winning at the pace that we expected this team to win and we didn’t see improvement.”

The Lakers asked assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff to work as acting head coach, and Kupchak said the team has not yet reached out to find a permanent replacement for Brown.

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“I think it is more likely that we look for coaches that are not presently employed,” he said, noting that a “remote” possibility exists that the Lakers would contact an assistant coach with another franchise.

The Lakers have lost four of their five games this season and at 1-12 when taking into account the team’s winless exhibition season.

“After five games, we just felt that we weren’t winning,” Kupchak said. “We made a decision. Maybe it would have changed a month or three months down the road, but with this team we didn’t want to wait three months and then find out it wasn’t going to change.”

He used the word “simpler” multiple times, noting that the team hadn’t quite grasped Brown’s hybrid Princeton offense.

Whether the team would be open to returning to the triangle offense was unclear, but Kupchak said the Lakers are well aware that former coach Phil Jackson is available.

“When there’s a coach like Phil Jackson, one of the all-time greats, and he’s not coaching, I think we’d be negligent not to be aware that he’s out there,” he said. “We’re putting together a list and an attack plan. We haven’t reached out to anyone at this time.”

The Lakers are set to host the Golden State Warriors on Friday night at Staples Center.


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