The Lakers made an uncharacteristically quick move Friday, firing coach Mike Brown five games into the season. Times NBA editor Barry Stavro and sportswriter Lisa Dillman joined Sports Editor Mike James for a chat to fill in some of the blanks around this surprising development.
Kobe Bryant has said he felt bad for the coach and had backed him during their early-season struggles. The Lakers lost all eight preseason games, then lost four of five games to open the regular season.
Dillman pointed out that if a change needed to be made, it should have been at the end of last season so that the organization could have prevented the "messy breakup" they now face.
James added that the team will be in limbo and under the direction of assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff as Lakers executives ponder their next move, adding, "I'm not exactly sure that's the way you want to try to move into the next step. But perhaps they have something up their sleeve that no one knows anything about yet."
Eventually talk came to possible coaching replacements and at the top of the list were Mike D'Antoni and Phil Jackson as well as Jerry Sloan and Nate McMillan.
"D'Antoni makes some sense on paper since he coached Steve Nash for so long in Phoenix and they had the dazzling up-tempo offense," Stavro said. "The Lakers offense has been dismal so far this season, scoring more than 100 points just twice."
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