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Mike Brown Fired As Lakers Head Coach
Posted by Ivetta Babadjanian on Nov 9, 2012 - 12:56:38 PM
LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown on Friday, November 9, and assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will take over as interim head coach for the game against the Golden State Warriors. It is reported that a search for a new head coach will begin immediately. Rumored candidates include Mike D'Antoni, Jerry Sloan, Nate McMillan and Phil Jackson.
"This was a difficult and painful decision to make," said General Manager Mitch Kupchak in a statement. "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."
The firing is linked to the Lakers 1-4 start to the season and it is reported that some doubted his leadership due to long practices and game-day shootarounds. Kupchak made a case for Brown to Lakers owner Jerry Buss and executive vice president Jim Buss to give the head coach more time before deciding to fire him. However, Lakers ownership said that buying out the remaining three years on Brown's original $18 million, four-year contract would not be a problem in order to get a new coach.
"I have great respect for the Buss family and the Lakers' storied tradition and I thank them for the opportunity they afforded me," Brown said in a statement. "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."
Despite having the largest payroll at over $100 million, the Lakers currently have the worst record in the Western Conference. The Lakers had a 0-8 preseason for the first time in franchise history, and the loss at Utah on Wednesday, November 7 made the decision to fire Brown more immediate.
The Princeton offense that was being implemented by Brown in order to take some of the offensive load off Kobe Bryant did not help the team's performance. Additionally, point guard Steve Nash has not played since midway through the second game of the season due to an injury. Dwight Howard and Bryant have also suffered from early season injuries.
Dodgers owner and former Laker Magic Johnson tweeted, "Feel bad for Coach Mike Brown, who's a great guy, but don't think he was the right guy for the job in the first place."
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