Lakers Fire Mike Brown
After a disappointing 1-4 start, the Los Angeles Lakers have fired head coach Mike Brown, as first reported by USA Today’s Sam Amick.
“Mike just called saying he was relieved of his duties,” agent Warren LeGarie told Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears.
There are signs that Brown’s firing came from ownership, with sources telling Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak lobbied ownership to “give Brown more time before firing him.” Wojnarowski also reports that a “prominent name discussed” is former Knicks and Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni, who was Nash’s old coach in Phoenix and an assistant on the U.S. Olympic team with Howard and Kobe Bryant.
However, D’Antoni may not even be able to coach until late December. One interesting note from Ric Bucher says that D’Antoni just had surgery and will be “laid up” for six weeks. That could impact the short-term search for the team’s new head coach. Wojnarowski said he had his knee replaced, but Berger said it won’t stop him from taking this coveted position.
The Lakers have incredible expectations to win a championship this season with the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. The pressure on Brown was immense and fans have clamored for Brown’s ouster after an 0-8 preseason and a horrid regular season start. Brown had experience coaching superstars with LeBron James in Cleveland, but he could not survive this year’s slow start.
Los Angeles will appoint an interim coach internally, with Bernie Bickerstaff coaching the team tonight against Golden State, according to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger.
Rumors will swirl on who Brown’s replacement will be, with D’Antoni the big name, but it could also be former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who has shown great interest in the position this week. There is always the thought that Phil Jackson could make a comeback as well.