Bickerstaff coaches Lakers vs. Warriors

Lakers make a change after a disappointing 1-4 start to a season in which they were supposed to be title contenders after acquiring All-Star guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard.

The Lakers fired Mike Brown as coach after the team's 1-4 start. Brown was barely a month into his second season with the team, which struggled badly amid high expectations.

Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff coached Friday's game against Golden State but the Lakers will conduct a national search for a long term replacement. Candidates could include Mike D'Antoni, Jerry Sloan, Nate McMillan and Phil Jackson.

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.

The team has had trouble picking up Brown's Princeton-based offense and has also lagged defensively.

-Mike Bresnahan

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