The L.A. Lakers management quickly lost patience with coach Mike Brown and gave him his walking papers just five games into his second second season as coach.
"Mike just called saying he was relieved of his coaching duties," Mike's agent Warren Legarie wrote to USA TODAY Sports this morning.
According to USA Today, owner Jerry Buss still had to cut Brown an $11 million check after letting him go.
The Lakers gave Brown a guaranteed contract worth $18 million in the first three seasons when they hired him in 2011 as a replacement for retired coach Phil Jackson. The contract included a team option for a fourth season.
The Lakers made big splashes this off season by trading for Dwight Howard and acquiring point guard Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns. They were expected to start winning immediately, but the team stumbled out of the gate with a 1-4 record. The fact that Nash has missed the last three games with a non-displaced fracture in the head of his left fibula hasn't helped.
The L.A. Times reports that Brown's firing is the earliest of any coach in team history. Del Harris was fired after twelve games in 1999.
The Lakers were 41-25 in Brown's first season, losing to Oklahoma City in the second round of the playoffs.
The team will now conduct a national search to find Brown's replacement. Early candidates include Mike D'Antoni, Jerry Sloan, Nate McMillan and Phil Jackson.