mike brown *In the wake of their 1-4 start, it comes as no surprise that Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown has been designated the scapegoat and fired, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com‘s Ramona Shelburne.

As of this posting, it is not immediately known who will take over for him, but a source indicated that one of assistant coaches Bernie Bickerstaff or Chuck Person will take over on an interim basis.

It was only earlier Friday that “source” said his job would be in jeopardy if the team did not perform well on its upcoming six-game homestand. Apparently someone in the front office decided not to wait.

The Lakers have had a healthy Steve Nash in the lineup for only 1½ of their five games so far thanks to a leg injury, while fellow newcomer Dwight 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 offensive load off Bryant. The results have been mixed so far.