NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

November 10, 2012

Lakers fire coach Brown after 1-4 start

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Mike Brown on Friday after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak announced the surprising move 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,” Kupchak said. “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.”

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 on Wednesday.

The Lakers’ 1-4 record is the worst in the Western Conference, and owner Jim Buss had seen enough of the coach he hired just 18 months earlier to replace 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson. Brown signed a four-year deal worth roughly $18 million in May 2011.

“It’s a pretty direct message to all of us,” Gasol said while leaving the Lakers’ shootaround Friday morning in El Segundo. “There’s no messing around. It’s time for all of us to step it up.”

While Lakers fans had reacted with their usual panic whenever the 16-time NBA champions lose a few games in a row, Kupchak and Buss publicly appeared to stand firmly behind Brown, the longtime Cleveland Cavaliers coach. Brown had pleaded for patience with his integration of several new players into his lineup while everybody learned a new offense.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
SNC Minute: Taney loses to Nevada, Phils win Taney watch party at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy 3 & Out: What to watch for in Eagles' 3rd preseason game Taney still alive despite 'off day' from Mo'ne Davis 'Strange strike zone' a factor in Taney's loss Will Alex Henery be the Eagles' kicker on opening day? The Buzzer: Tattoos, John Wall and Babe Ruth Steelers Running Backs Arrested, Browns Roll with Hoyer Carl Edwards to Drive No. 19 For Joe Gibbs in 2015 Darrell Wallace, Jr steps on Block T and pays for it Larry’s Notebook: Where Does the Aggression Go? Just Call Him Johnny Clipboard - @TheBuzzeronFOX Meyer confident despite losing Miller for the year Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Mo'ne's Mom: She's Up There With LeBron, Kobe - @TheBuzzeronFOX Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Manziel mature enough to start? Ditka Blames 'Politically Correct Idiots' For Redskins Controversy - @TheBuzzeronFOx Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Is Taney a team of destiny?
Special Features