This fall the Lakers began training camp soaring like the smartest and coolest organization in the NBA.

Five regular-season games later, they have collapsed into a puddle of utter and senseless panic.

They have fired coach Mike Brown in a move that reeks of poor timing, poor vision and poor leadership in a front office that was once a bastion of continuity and calm.

First, if you were going to fire Brown only five games into his second season, why was he even allowed to begin his second season? Shouldn’t you have made this move after the Lakers collapsed against Oklahoma City in the playoffs last spring, giving a newcomer a full summer and training camp to install his system?

Second, if you were going to fire Mike Brown five games into a season in which his starting five have played together for only a game and a half, why did you hire him in the first place? The decision to pick Brown in the summer of 2011 over a more popular name-brand coach like Rick Adelman was made by the unsettled –- and unsettling –- new Laker boss Jim Buss. I ripped it when it happened. But once it happened, and once Brown’s hard work eventually gained the respect of Kobe Bryant, I wrote that the Brown regime needed a fair chance to succeed.