EL SEGUNDO - The Los Angeles Lakers have relieved Mike Brown of his head coaching duties, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff will take over as interim head coach for tonight's game against the Golden State Warriors. A search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

"This was a difficult and painful decision to make," said Kupchak. "Mike was very hard-working and dedicated, but we felt it was in the best interest of the team to make a change at this time. We appreciate Mike's efforts and contributions and wish him and his family the best of luck."

The following statement was issued today from Mike Brown:

"I have great respect for the Buss family and the Lakers' storied tradition and I thank them for the opportunity they afforded me. I have a deep appreciation for the coaches and players that I worked with this past year and I wish the organization nothing but success as they move forward."