The Lakers announced Friday that Mike Brown has been fired as head coach in the wake of the mega-team's 1-4 start.
"This was a difficult and painful decision to make," said general manager Mitch Kupchak 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."
The Lakers have installed long-time assistant Bernie Bickerstaff as interim coach while they "immediately" search for a replacement. Bickerstaff will coach the team Friday against the Warriors.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports:
The move comes as a shock after numerous reports said the Lakers would give the second-year coach time to work through the early season struggles, especially with Nash on the shelf with a leg injury.
Brown has come under fire for the inauspicious start after the team added Dwight Howard and Nash in the offseason. Much of the criticism has been directed at Brown's decision to install the Princeton offense, and the massive defensive problems despite Brown's reputation as a defensive coach.
The Lakers went 41-25 with Brown as head coach last year, but with their only victory this season over the winless Pistons, ownership apparently thought it was time for a move. Yahoo! Sports reports that Kupchak had urged ownership to give Brown more time.
The Lakers have posted the 23rd worst defensive rating this season under Brown.
We'll have much more on this throughout the day.