L.A. Lakers fire head coach after 1-4 start
Mike Brown's Lakers went 1-4 to start the 2012-2013 season.
November 9th, 2012
03:04 PM ET

L.A. Lakers fire head coach after 1-4 start

[Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET] The Los Angeles Lakers' 0-8 preseason and 1-4 start to the regular season were too much for the front office to take.

The NBA team on Friday fired second-year head coach Mike Brown, whose efforts to implement a new offense and mesh free-agent signings with stars who won a title two years ago didn't turn into wins.

"Really, it came down to ownership and management looking at the record, looking at the improvement level, and wondering a month or two or three down the road, will we be in the same spot," General Manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters.

Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff will be interim head coach for Friday night's game against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers said.

The Lakers, just two years removed from an NBA championship, are loaded with high-profile talent with the likes of all-stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, as well as new additions Steve Nash, a former league MVP, and former Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard.

But Nash has missed most of the season's early games with an injury, and the Lakers struggled with a complex new offense Brown was implementing.

"I never thought we got to the point where the offense was flowing," Kupchak said. "You could see flashes of it, but we never got to a point (where it was consistent through a game)."

A reporter asked Kupchak whether a desire to make Howard's first year a smooth one was a factor in the decision. The star center would be a free agent at season's end if he doesn't sign an extension.

“Obviously, we know he is a free agent this summer, and you want to make the experience for him as good as possible, but we have a lot of other people we need to (please) as well,” Kupchak said.

Kupchak said the team's management decided Thursday night to make the move, a days after the Lakers lost a 95-86 game at Utah.

Brown released a statement saying he had great respect for the family of Lakers owner Jerry Buss "and the Lakers’ storied tradition, and I thank them for the opportunity they afforded me."

"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,” Brown said.

Before taking the Lakers job in May 2011, Brown, 42, compiled a 272-138 regular-season record in five seasons as head coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Filed under: Basketball • California • Los Angeles • NBA • Sports
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Jerry Daniel

    This firing might be premature, but Kupchak usually knows what he's doing. Is Phil Jackson in the wings?

    November 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seth

      Forget Phil Jackson. They need to make a play for Bryan Shaw, who they should of hired in the first place.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • THEtrueamericanBETREUSlegacy

      >>>>>>> General Betreus legacy: from Herman Cain queen Palins to the high dollar welfare generals of America- they want YOUR country as rulers of the world: Hail Caesars !!!! The Petreus NEXT job? > security for Donald Trump.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Logic

    Harsh. Obviously wasn't fired for being 1-4, he was fired because Koby didn't like him.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Truth B. Told

    Not surprised.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. whocares

    They also need to make Koby part owner, head coach, assistant coach, ball boy, food vendor, score keeper, floor wiper. When that is done there will be harmony and they will start winning, or is it whining?

    November 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. azdave

    Brown ran a crummy offense in Cleveland as well, and most of that 272/138 record he had while he was there can be attributed to LBJ. Any decent manager in any discipline will tell you that you tailor what you do to the strengths of the people you have to work with .. and Brown didn't do that.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jerry Jones

    @whocares. Sorry, I've patented that and am already doing it in Dallas with the Cowboys.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. clown

    Don't you mean Cowgirls "by the way they play football".

    November 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • clown

      @ Jerry Jones that is.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. arthur

    I am shocked, just shocked. I'm on my way home to collect on my bet.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Eric of Reseda, CA

    He never should have been hired inthe first place. Why is it the fans seem to know more than management FAR too often? Lakers fans knew this would be an epic fail from Day 1.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Packer Backer

    Who Cares. about LA sports teams anyway,

    November 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jay from Orlando

    Wouldn't it be great if they selected Stan Van Gundy as their new coach

    November 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick

    For 11 million, I too will happily hand you a 1-4 start.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike T

      Hell....for $11 million I'd fire the entire team and run the ball around the court myself for 4 quarters. In a dress.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LarryB

    The obvious next step is to name Kobe player-coach. De facto, that's what he is anyway. The last one of those was Lenny Wilkens in 1975, but before then they were not that uncommon in the NBA. Of course, most of them piled up more losses than wins.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JT

    That Stan Van Gundy comment is funny.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Friedrich

    Won't help --– 4 of the 5 starters are 32 years old or older. Kobe is 34 and has 19 years wear and tear and Nash is 38. Players skills start to go downhill at age 30-33 and there is not a darn thing you can do about it -– unless you can take steroids.

    It will be a long season no matter who they hire

    November 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nodack

      Kobe is Kobe and Nash had one of his best years ever last year. The Mavs got rid of Nash thinking age would hit him and then he went on to two MVPs of the league with the Suns. I'm not buying the age thing.

      November 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • EJ

      Age....they cannot run with young teams like an OKC

      November 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
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