Lakers coach Mike Brown could be fired if the team continues to stumble through an upcoming six-game homestand, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Lakers, while having publicly expressed support for Brown in the wake of a 1-4 start, have privately grown sufficiently concerned about the state of the team to the point that management is prepared to look seriously at a coaching change at this early juncture if L.A. can't take advantage of what looks to be multiple winnable games in the upcoming stretch.
The pivotal homestand begins Friday against a Golden State Warriors teams missing injured impact players Andrew Bogut and Brandon Rush, then continues through Nov. 20 with games against Sacramento, San Antonio, Phoenix, Houston and Brooklyn.
Injuries to guard Kobe Bryant and point guard Steve Nash, and a slow start by center Dwight Howard, originally gave the Lakers front office reasons to be patient, while believing the team could eventually come together.
Lakers owner Jim Buss recently backed Brown, while Bryant denied directing one of his signature death stares at Brown during the team's loss to Utah.
Yet sources maintain that patience in the organization is starting to erode as the wait continues for signs of improvement in the Lakers' play.
The Lakers hope to improve on their Western Conference worst 1-4 start despitefunding the NBA's largest payroll of a little more than $100 million that could kick in an estimated luxury tax of almost $30 million -- with our without an NBA title at season's end.