Mike Brown has been fired

"Hit the road Jack!" - Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Lakers have fired head coach Mike Brown. Mike D'Antoni is a possible candidate to be the next Laker coach.

I guess he won't be getting one last homestand to fight for his job after all.

Sam Amick of USA Today is reporting that the Lakers have fired head coach Mike Brown.

From his report:

Mike Brown has been fired by the Los Angeles Lakers, according to his agent Warren Legarie.

The Lakers are off to a 1-4 start and will play Golden State tonight at the Staples Center.

So much for the Buss family being patient before making big decisions. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that it was general manager Mitch Kupchak who pleaded with ownership over the past 24 hours to give Brown more time, but they didn't comply.

Woj says that the Princeton offense was the main reason Brown was fired. The Lakers will be scrapping the Princeton, per his report, which means an outside hire is all but a guarantee. Woj also has the details of how Brown was fired.

Mike Brown was called out of staff meeting on Friday morning, told he was fired, and returned 10 minutes later to tell his coaches the news.

According to a SportsCenter post, assistant Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the team tonight. Bickerstaff has told league friends that he doesn't expect to be the interim coach past tonight, per a Yahoo! report.

General manager Mitch Kupchak had this to say about Brown's firing:

"This was a difficult & painful decision to make. Mike was very hard-working and dedicated, but we felt it was in the best interest of the team to make a change. We appreciate Mike’s efforts/contributions & wish him & his family best of luck."

Here is Mike Brown's statement on his firing:

“I have great respect for the Buss family 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.”

Pau Gasol said that the the firing is "a pretty direct message" that the players need to step it up, per Mike Trudell.

Woj is also reporting that former Knicks and Suns coach Mike D'Antoni, who co-piloted one of the league's most devastating offenses in the past 20 years with Steve Nash in Phoenix, has been a prominent name discussed as a possible replacement. One thing that may slow this process is that D'Antoni just had knee surgery and isn't on his feet yet. That said, having some time to get his staff together would be a good thing for D'Antoni should the Lakers choose to go that route.

Ken Berger of CBSSports is reporting that the Lakers are currently deciding who to appoint as the interim head coach. Berger also confirms Woj's previous report that D'Antoni is heavily in the mix to be Brown's permanent replacement. Berger also adds this juicy note: D'Antoni and Brown have the same agent.

Other candidates for the job are Jerry Sloan, Stan Van Gundy, Nate McMillan, Brian Shaw and the Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson.

David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz, spoke to Jerry Sloan today and he had no comment on the Lakers' situation.

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star has a bit of sour news for the Shaw supporters.

It's understandable that Brian Shaw just laughed when I mentioned the Lakers job to him at shootaround. Things ended ugly in LA for him.

Mark Spears of Yahoo! Sports has this quote from a source about Phil Jackson:

Source close to PJax said:"Its a good situation for him. But his heart has to be in it. That's a discussion he has to have with himself. They kicked him to the curb. Now they are in the same position. Maybe worse."

This is sure to appease several fans that have been calling for Brown's head after witnessing an abysmal start to the season from this star studded team. Virtually everything about the team that would fall under the umbrella of a head coach's responsibilities - offense, defense, effort, rotations - has been far from acceptable through five games and the Buss family must have thought the same thing.

I for one am in agreement with this decision. This may seem like an overreaction to some, but Brown was not a good coach last season and the Buss family was forced to either bet on Brown improving over the course of the season (and dealing with adjusting to a new coach late in the year if they had to fire him then) or choose to make the transition to a new coach with a lot of time still left to go. I don't think Brown ever gave management a reason to let him work things out and now the Lakers will have 70 regular season games to play with when implementing their new system.

More on this as it develops.

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