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Los Angeles Lakers Fire Coach Mike Brown Five Games Into The Season

The Los Angeles Lakers have fired coach Mike Brown only five games into the season.

In a press release, the Lakers said Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff will take over in the interim.

"This was a difficult and painful decision to make," the teams general manager Mitch Kupchak said 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 Los Angeles Times reports:

"It was believed to be the earliest firing of a coach in the team's history. Del Harris was relieved of his duties 12 games into the 1999 season.

"The Lakers were 41-25 in Brown's first season, losing to Oklahoma City in the second round of the playoffs.

"The team has had trouble picking up Brown's Princeton-based offense and has also lagged defensively."

The Lakers are 1-4 this season.

ESPN reports that the move is in keeping with a "win now" mentality, which was also responsible for the high-profile acquisition of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.

"The Lakers are off to the worst start in the Western Conference despite carrying the league's largest payroll at just over $100 million, which would trigger an estimated luxury-tax bill at season's end of nearly $30 million," ESPN reports.

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