L.A. Lakers fire Brown as coach after woeful start

Mike Brown was fired as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers after the team started the NBA season by losing four of its first five games, according to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.

Friday's firing came only hours ahead of the Lakers playing host to Golden State, a game in which the squad will be guided by assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff on an interim basis. A search for a new head coach is already under way.

"We weren't winning, we weren't seeing improvement and we made a decision," Kupchak said. "Maybe it would have changed down the road. But with this team we didn't want to wait three months and find out it wouldn't change."

It was second-fastest ouster of an NBA coach to start a season. Dolph Schayes resigned as the Buffalo Braves' coach after the 1971-1972 opener.

The Lakers have the worst record in the Western Conference but the NBA's largest payroll at more than $100 milllion.

"It wasn't made out of panic," Kupchak said of a decision made late Thursday night. "We went 0-8 in preseason and we're 1-4 now. It's not like this came out of nowhere."

Brown, who had almost three full years remaining on a four-year deal worth $18 million, was trying to install an offensive scheme that had players struggling.

"They either weren't getting it or it was going to take too long for them to get it and we weren't willing to wait to find out which it was," Kupchak said.

"We'd like to see something the players can pick up on a little bit quicker. I'm not sure we have the time to implement something really complex."

Superstar guard Kobe Bryant has struggled with a foot injury and gave Brown a 'death stare' glare at Brown during a loss on Wednesday to Utah but praised him in a farewell Facebook posting.

"Tough day," Bryant said on his Facebook page. "I've seen coaches as well as friends come and go. No matter how many years I've been playing, it's still hard to deal with.

"I had a good relationship with Mike and I will continue to have one. I wish him and his family nothing but the best. I spoke with him today and thanked him for all of his hard work and sacrifice.

"I'm not sure what direction we are heading in next. All I can do is focus on the here and now.""

Kupchak said players had no input in the decision to fire Brown but they might be asked about potential replacement candidates.

Injuries have also hampered the team's two star off-season acquisitions, guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard.

Howard is still trying to find top form after back surgery while Nash has been healthy for only one full game so far this season because of a leg injury.

"It was discussed," Kupchak said of the injury issue. "But we still decided to make the decision.

"We were wondering a month or two or three down the road if we were going to be in the same spot. It could have turned out just fine. But we weren't willing to take that chance."

The Lakers also boast Spanish playmaker Pau Gasol and were expected to contend for a title. They lost their first three games before beating winless Detroit 95-86 last Sunday.

"This team was built to contend this year," Kupchak said. "There's no guarantee we will win a championship. We certainly should be in the hunt."

"It's wins and losses. Mike knows this."

Brown thanked the club in a statement.

"I have a deep appreciation for the coaches and players that I worked with this past year," he said. "I wish the organization nothing but success as they move forward."

Former Lakers star player, coach and part-owner Magic Johnson said on Twitter that he never thought Brown should have been coaching the Lakers.

"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," Johnson tweeted.

Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who guided Chicago to six NBA titles and the Lakers to five NBA crowns before retiring in 2011 and being replaced by Brown, was among those mentioned as possible replacements.

"When there's a coach like Phil Jackson, one of the all-time greats, and he's not coaching, we would be negligent not to know he's out there," Kupchak said. "We have not reached out to anyone at this time.

"Certainly I think we would look to an experienced coach. I think it's more likely we would look to coaches that aren't presently employed."

Johnson tweeted that he would not mind a return by his former coach Pat Riley, who is now an executive with the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat.

"I'd love to see Phil Jackson or Brian Shaw. Wish Pat Riley was available," Johnson tweeted. "The Lakers need a championship caliber coach."


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON, May 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's …

  • Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino
    Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino

    Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday. "We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into," Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China's position. The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane away from airspace …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Gasoline prices up, diesel down
    Gasoline prices up, diesel down

    Oil companies announced yesterday a price hike of 50 centavos per liter for gasoline and a rollback of 50 centavos per liter for diesel effective at 6 a.m. today. Independent oil firms were among the first to announce the price adjustment. In an advisory, PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm said it cut diesel prices by 50 centavos per liter and increased gasoline prices by 50 centavos per liter. …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

  • Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions
    Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions

    The Philippines will not recognize restrictions on air and sea travel set by China in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino said yesterday. “We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various conventions, agreements that have been entered into through various decades,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview after inspecting the Marikina Elementary School in preparation for the opening of classes in June. “Maybe we should not think about getting …

  • Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June
    Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June

    Filipinos may have to wait until the second or third week of June for rain, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday. Rene Paciente, chief of PAGASA’s marine meteorological services section, said they expect the rainy season to start in the second or third week of June. The criteria for declaring the onset of the rainy season include the prevalence of the southwest monsoon and the 25-millimeter rainfall recorded in at least five …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options