BOSTON -- The Los Angeles Lakers' dismissal of coach Mike Brown on Friday after only five regular-season games resonated all the way to the other coast as Boston's Doc Rivers and Philadelphia's Doug Collins expressed dismay over the quick hook for a member of their coaching fraternity.
Rivers, though, is no stranger to an early exit. The Orlando Magic fired Rivers 11 games into his fifth season with the team back in 2003 after a 1-10 start (that included 10 straight losses).
"Well, he beat my record," quipped Rivers. "Obviously, I think it’s awful. I thought mine was awful, too, by the way, but five games into a season, that’s hard to believe. Hard to believe when guys are injured."
Rivers admitted he saw the writing on the wall at the end of his tenure in Orlando.
"When it happens that early, at least in my case, it was probably thought about during the summer and they just never got around to doing it," said Rivers. "When you start out slow, then [they say], ‘All right, let’s do it.’"
Added Rivers: "I was kinda relieved at that time. I kinda felt like it was coming eventually, it was only talked about every day. I don’t think people ever understand, when anybody loses a job, I’m sure you have friends who lose jobs, but when it’s done publicly, you have kids in school, and they have to hear that stuff every day. And I don’t think people get that with the way our job is public. I had all four of my kids in school [in Orlando] and they had to hear it every day. Kids aren’t very nice to kids. For me, I didn’t think much about myself, I was far more concerned about my kids."
Collins, fired three times during his coaching career, could feel Brown's pain.
"Well, I feel badly for Mike. This is a tough business, as I said before," said Collins. "I was talking with my coaches today and I said, 'You know, if your only failure in the NBA is getting fired as a coach, you've lived a pretty good life.'"
Was five games too quick for a hook?
"Well, I'm not going to be the one to judge that," said Collins, who later quipped, "I've been fired three times. You're asking the wrong guy."