BOSTON — Doc Rivers has been there. He has been dismissed as the head coach of an NBA team less than a month into the season, and he can tell from experience that it is not very fun.
When Mike Brown was fired by the Lakers on Friday a whole five games into the season, Rivers immediately came to mind. Rivers was only four years removed from winning the NBA’s Coach of the Year award when the Orlando Magic let him go 11 games into the 2003-04 season, which freed him up to be a television analyst and, eventually, to become head coach of the Celtics.
“He beat my record,” Rivers said, invoking gallows humor shortly before the Celtics played the Sixers at the TD Garden. “Obviously, I think that’s awful. I thought mine was awful, too, by the way. Five games into a season, that’s hard to believe. It’s hard to believe, especially when guys are injured.”
The Lakers’ Dwight Howard is suffering from the aftereffects of offseason back surgery, Steve Nash is out with a slight fracture in his left lower leg and Kobe Bryant is dealing with a variety of nagging ailments, but the Lakers chose to cut Brown loose anyway after they began the regular season with a 1-4 record. Including an 0-8 preseason, the Lakers are 1-12 this season under Brown.
Check out more of Rivers’ thoughts on the firing in the video above.