Scott Brooks was fired a few days ago after seven years as Head Coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team replaced him with longtime University Of Florida men’s basketball coach Billy Donovan.
It only makes sense to fire a successful coach like Brooks if you can replace him with someone better, as the Golden State Warriors did in replacing player favorite Mark Jackson with Steve Kerr (so far the right decision). For the Thunder, hopefully Donovan is the right choice. Had the Thunder actually made the playoffs this year, the team probably would have lost to the Golden State Warriors and probably still would have fired Brooks.
Paraphrasing NBA announcer and former coach Jeff Van Gundy said earlier this season, limping into the playoffs shouldn’t save you from being fired. You either are or you aren’t the right coach for the team, regardless of making the playoffs or the win-loss record.
The Warriors’ success so far this season validates the earlier decision to get rid of Jackson. Kerr seems to have gotten the team prepared to go over the playoff hump and the championship.
UPDATE: Edited for clarity.
[photo via Keith Allison/flickr]