Mike Brown has been fired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who confirmed with Brown's agent, Warren Legarie. The Lakers were have lost four of their first five games this season, despite a busy offseason that saw the additions of center Dwight Howard and point guard Steve Nash.
The 1-4 start is the worst for the Lakers since the 1993-1994 campaign. Through five games the Lakers are 19th in the NBA in points allowed (98.8 per game) and 25th in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing 1.076 points per possession, a death knell for the defensively minded Brown.
Brown signed a four-year, $18 million contract with the Lakers before the 2011-2012 season. In his first season in Los Angeles, he guided the Lakers to a 41-25 record and a Pacific Division title, their fifth straight, but the team was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Lakers were also 0-8 during the preseason, their worst exhibition record since the team began kept complete records in 1982.
On Thursday, Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss gave Brown a vote of confidence.
"I have no problems with Mike Brown at all," Buss said. "He just works too hard and he's too knowledgeable for this to be happening."
Kobe Bryant told reporters on Thursday that "I've been (Brown's) biggest supporter," but that past tense is even more prevalent now.
The Lakers host the Golden State Warriors on Friday night at Staples Center.