Another one bites the dust.

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere.

Another one bites the dust--that should be the official slogan for the 2015 NBA postseason. And no, I'm not talking about teams getting booted out of the playoffs. I'm talking about coaches having pink slips thrown their way.

The coaching profession has always been tough, but it seems like this season has been an especially brutal time to lead an NBA franchise. We're routinely seeing guys lose their jobs despite plenty of success by their teams.

The first head-scratcher came just as the regular season was ending when long-time Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks was given his walking papers when the Thunder failed to make the playoffs.

Management didn't seem to care that the team was without superstar Kevin Durant for much of the year--including the end of the season.

They didn't seem to care that Oklahoma City had made it to at least the Western Conference Semifinals three years in a row prior to this season.

In 2012, they made the finals before losing to Miami and the "Big Three." Just last year, they took the eventual champion Spurs to seven games in the Western Conference Finals.

They didn't care that Brooks won 62 percent of his games. They quickly gave him a nudge out of Oklahoma City.

Not too long afterward, New Orleans parted ways with long-time head coach Monty Williams.

I have to admit that during the season, I was one of the people saying Williams should be gone at the end of the year. However, I thought he earned himself another chance after the way the Pelicans battled down the stretch and earned a playoff spot.

It was the first time ever the Pelicans made the postseason, and it was the first time the New Orleans franchise made the playoffs since 2011.

Despite an injury-plagued season that saw Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday miss significant time, the Pelicans stepped up when they had to and squeaked by the Thunder to earn the No. 8 spot in the brutal West with a final record of 45-37.

Hey, even New Orleans' MVP Anthony Davis had his share of injuries during the year. Regardless of the setbacks, the Pelicans broke through and made the postseason.

They were granted a rapid exit by the eventual Western Conference champion Warriors, but Williams did a great job of getting the team into the playoffs.

Unfortunately, management didn't think so. They sent him packing.

And finally, the Bulls had a 1997 flashback and decided that the Eastern Conference Semifinals just wasn't good enough. They fired five-year head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Thibodeau had won 65 percent of his games in Chicago and reached 100 wins faster than any coach in NBA history.

He attained all of those great numbers despite having two lofty crosses to bear.

One: he has been forced to deal with LeBron James. LeBron has helped eliminate the Bulls from the playoffs three out of the five years under Thibodeau.

Two: team MVP Derrick Rose has been cursed with knee injuries. The electric point guard was forced to miss the 2012 playoffs, all of 2013, almost all of 2014 and he was out until the latter part of 2015.

Despite Rose's misfortunes and stiff competition from the best player in the world, the Bulls were always a threat in the East under Thibodeau. They were always scrappy and always fighting their guts out.

If Rose was able to stay healthy during those years, the Bulls might have won a championship somewhere in there. Who knows?

Bulls management didn't seem to take that notion seriously. In fact, they were so ready to get rid of Thibodeau that they cut bait knowing that they still owe him $9 million.

Hey, Chicago, I have a newsflash for you, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen aren't walking through those doors. As long as LeBron is in the East and Rose is hampered by those knees, you're going to be hard-pressed to find a guy that will get more out of the Bulls than what Thibodeau was able to muster these past five years.

The Thunder and the Pelicans are young franchises. They are not powerhouses. So, why are you forcing the coaches to live up to such an impossibly-hard standard? They're winning; they're making the playoffs. Championship or bust should not be your teams' mission statement.

The Bulls haven't won a title in nearly 20 years, so why are you giving a man a boot that has won 65 percent of his games? Either hire back Phil Jackson or venture back into reality.