The Los Angeles Lakers fired Mike Brown as coach after the team's 1-4 start to the season.
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers, long known for making bold moves to remain among the elite teams in the league, fired coach Mike Brown on Friday, five games into the season in a move swift and surprising.
The franchise known for its entertaining “Showtime” tendencies announced the decision after Lakers games this season showed an uncharacteristic lack of scoring, defense and, most problematic, victories.
Brown was done in by a 1-4 start amid meteorically high expectations.
The Lakers were 41-25 in Brown’s first season, losing to Oklahoma City in the second round of last season’s playoffs.
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Lakers players had trouble picking up Brown’s Princeton-based offense.
“They weren’t getting it, or they were going to take too long to get it,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “And we weren’t willing to wait to see which of the two it was.”
The team’s list of replacement candidates for Brown was short and included a familiar name — Phil Jackson, who won five championships with the team on two different tours before leaving after the 2010-11 season.
Other possibilities were Mike D’Antoni, former coach of the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks; Jerry Sloan, former coach of the Utah Jazz; and Nate McMillan, former coach of the Sonics and Portland Trail Blazers.
“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 in a statement.
Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff — a former Sonics head coach — is the interim coach.
Bickerstaff guided the host Lakers to a 101-77 victory over Golden State on Friday night. Kobe Bryant scored 27 points for Los Angeles.
• Brandon Roy, a former Washington Huskies and Garfield High School standout, didn’t play in the second half of Minnesota’s 96-94 home victory over Indiana because of a sore right knee. The three-time All-Star is attempting a comeback after chronic knee issues forced him to stop playing for Portland before last season.
• Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points as the New York Knicks beat visiting Dallas 104-94 to improve to 4-0, their best start since going 7-0 in 1993.
• Defending champion Miami extended its winning streak to four by winning 95-89 in Atlanta.