Mike Brown fired: Mitch Kupchak releases statement

The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the firing of head coach Mike Brown when general manager Mitch Kupchak released a statement on Friday afternoon.

Citing Brown's work ethic and character, Kupchak stated that it was not an easy decision to relieve Brown of his duties, via the Lakers' official website:

"This was a difficult and painful decision to make. 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 has been named interim head coach for Friday night's game against the Golden State Warriors and a national search for the team's next head coach will begin immediately. As of this time, former New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni has been rumored as a potential replacement.

After the team opened the season with a disappointing 1-4 record, Brown came under scrutiny for the team's lackluster start. Making his debut as the team's coach last season, Brown led the Lakers to a 41-25 record, which ended with a second-round loss in the playoffs to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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