(LOS ANGELES) — After a disappointing 1-4 start to the season, the Los Angeles Lakers announced Friday that they have fired head coach Mike Brown.
The news came as a surprise to Brown but for General Manager Mitch Kupchak it was a move he had to make.
“This was a difficult and painful decision to make,” he said. “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.”
Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will serve as the interim head coach for the Lakers’ game Friday night against the Golden State Warriors with a coaching search to follow.
Brown did not take the firing easily. “I have great respect for the Buss family and the Lakers’ storied tradition and I thank them for the opportunity they afforded me,” he 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.”
The team’s disappointing start came after completely rehauling the roster in the offseason with the hopes of winning a championship. They brought in point guard Steve Nash and traded for All-Star center Dwight Howard to play alongside superstar Kobe Bryant.
Some potential candidates for the job include Phil Jackson, Mike D’Antoni, Jerry Sloan, Nate McMillan, and Mike Dunleavy. D’Antoni was fired by the New York Knicks last season but coached Nash for years with the Phoenix Suns.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire