Lakers fire coach Mike Brown

The Lakers have fired Mike Brown as coach after the team’s 1-4 start, according to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it.

Brown was barely a month into his second season with the team, which struggled badly amid high expectations.

It was unclear who would be his replacement.

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.

– Reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times

The Lakers have had a healthy Nash in the lineup for only 1½ of their five games so far thanks to a leg injury, while Howard has acknowledged that he’s still recovering from the back surgery that brought a premature end to his 2011-12 campaign and knocked him out of the London Olympics. Kobe Bryant has also been playing through a foot ailment.

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.

The team has also been trying to institute a form of the Princeton offense, a system that relies on reads and ball sharing in order to take some of the offensive load off Bryant. The results have been mixed, at best.

– Reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com