BOSTON Doc Rivers was among those surprised and disappointed by the firing of Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown on Friday after the team got off to a 1-4 start.
In some respects, Brown's dismissal was similar to when the Orlando Magic fired Rivers in 2003.
Rivers began that season with a 1-10 record.
"I think it's awful," Rivers said of Brown's firing. "I thought mine was awful too, by the way. Five games into a season? That's hard to believe."
Especially when you factor in injuries to Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, two central cogs to the Lakers' revamped roster.
"But that's their mess," Rivers said. "I feel for Mike."
And while it's unclear how Brown is handling his dismissal, Rivers said he was "relieved" in 2003 when the Magic fired him.
"I kind of felt it was coming eventually," Rivers said. "It was only talked about everyday."
But as tough as being fired may be for a head coach, it's even rougher for their families - the children in particular.
"I don't think people ever really understand, whenever anybody loses their job, ... when it's done publicly you have kids in school and they have to hear that stuff everyday," said Rivers whose four children were all in school at the time. "I don't think people really get that. I didn't really think much about myself. I was far more concerned about my kids."
Sixers coach Doug Collins knows a thing or two about being fired. And like Rivers, he too was disappointed to hear that Brown was fired so quickly into the season.
"I feel bad for Mike. As I've said before, this is a tough business," said Collins who has been fired by the Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons.
When asked if five games into a season was too soon, Collins responded, "I've been fired three times. You're asking the wrong guy."
There is certainly a degree of disappointment in being fired, but for Rivers it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
"I've said it for years and just haven't done it, but getting away for awhile is a good thing for coaches; I believe that," Rivers said. "It allows you to recharge and go back on the things you've done well and things you haven't done well and re-access. That's why teachers take sabbaticals. Ours are forced sabbaticals. But it was a great thing for me.
Rivers added, "I'm here and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else."