Coaching a Team To an NBA Title Is A Good Way to Get Fired
By Kyle Koster
The Milwaukee Bucks showed Mike Budenholzer the door after an early playoff exit less than two calendar years after he won the NBA championship. Perhaps the craziest part about the whole ordeal is that it wasn't surprising at all. Considering how Erik Spoelstra outclassed him, and some previous head-scratching decisions in the postseason, one could argue that it was the proper choice.
It still lays bare a somewhat amazing reality. That coaching a team to the ultimate prize in professional basketball is trending toward being a precursor to getting fired.
With Budenholzer's exit, it is now three of the last four title-winning coaches that have been dismissed. Nick Nurse is out in Toronto and Frank Vogel got bounced from Los Angeles. Only Steve Kerr was saved the indignity of going from the highest high to the lowest low.
Rick Carlisle, who won with Dallas in 2011, was ultimately canned. And the list of coaches who have lost the Finals then lost their jobs since then is not small: Scott Brooks, David Blatt, Tyronne Lue, and Ime Udoka.
Obviously there were varying circumstances surrounding the front-office decisions, but it serves as a reminder that it's not just win now in the NBA. It's win now and then win again very quickly. What's wild is that you could make the argument every team who pulled the trigger have ended up in a better spot, or at least one where they are still relevant, outside of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
So I'm not even mad. Just impressed by how tenuous success can be.