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Westphal firing was inevitable, but wrong

Guys like Gary Payton and Vin Baker made keeping Paul Westphal as Seattle coach impossible.

Updated: November 29, 2000, 2:57 PM ET
By Frank Hughes | Special to ESPN.com

You knew it was coming.

You could feel it, as surely as you can smell rain approaching on a warm summer day, when the wind picks up and the leaves turn over.

The firing of Paul Westphal was, as everybody close to the team and even casual observers knew, inevitable.

Here is what's difficult, the hard part about the NBA, the WRONG part: Westphal probably did not deserve to be fired.

He is a decent coach and a good man.

And the latter portion ...

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Guys like Gary Payton and Vin Baker made keeping Paul Westphal as Seattle coach impossible.