The Los Angeles Lakers have fired coach Mike Brown after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge.
The Lakers announced the surprising move Friday, several hours before they hosted Golden State. Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers against the Warriors.
“This was a difficult and painful decision to make,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “Mike was very hardworking 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.”
Los Angeles’ dismissal of Brown was first reported by USA Today Sports.
Los Angeles began the season with championship expectations after trading for center Dwight Howard and point guard Steve Nash, adding two superstars alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
But the Lakers went 0-8 during the preseason last month for the first time in franchise history before stumbling into the regular season with an 0-3 start, losing to Dallas, Portland and the Clippers. After finally beating Detroit last Sunday for their first win, the Lakers looked listless again in a loss at Utah Wednesday. The Lakers’ 1-4 record is the worst in the Western Conference.
While Lakers fans had reacted with their usual panic whenever the 16-time NBA champions lose a few games in a row, Kupchak and Lakers owner Jim Buss publicly appeared to stand firmly behind Brown, the longtime Cleveland Cavaliers coach hired to replace 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson.
The Lakers had given no indication they might pull one of the earliest coaching changes in NBA history.
Philadelphia 106, Boston 100: Evan Turner scored 25 points, Jrue Holiday added 21 and the Philadelphia 76ers held off several fourth-quarter rallies to beat the Boston Celtics 106-100.
Miami 95, Atlanta 89: LeBron James scored 21 points, including the clinching jumper with 13.6 seconds remaining, and Miami knocked off the Atlanta Hawks 95-89 for the Heat’s fourth straight win.
Milwaukee 101, Washington 91: Even a 12-point head start against the Milwaukee Bucks was not nearly enough for the winless Washington Wizards. Monta Ellis scored 22 points, and the Bucks quickly erased an early deficit before pulling away with a 13-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to beat the Wizards 101-91.