For eight consecutive seasons, the Portland Trail Blazers have appeared in the Western Conference playoffs. No other team in the NBA has a longer active streak of postseason appearances.
But premature, first-round exits can take a heavy toll, and with four of those in the last five seasons, the Trail Blazers and longtime head coach Terry Stotts mutually agreed to part ways over the weekend.
The question is, did Stotts -- who leaves Portland as the second-winningest coach in franchise history with 402 wins in nine seasons -- actually deserve to get the boot? Former NBA head coach George Karl doesn't believe so.
"Everybody knows it's unfair, but basketball has come to the point where it's not [about] what your record says you are," Karl told The DA Show on Monday. "Terry Stotts is a hell of a coach, and he's going to get another job, and he'll add another chapter in his NBA career. But it kind of makes me sad. Why is it always the coach's fault that they can't get by the first round? Coaching an NBA 82-game season is harder than coaching in the playoffs.
"And what happens in the playoffs, great teams come together, and one team's got to lose. You can't tie. Someone's got to lose. And I think Terry did a good job with the Denver series, took it to seven games. In the end, it came down to the point where Denver and [Nikola] Jokic played better basketball when it counted."
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Trail Blazers' coaching search is expected to include Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups, former New York Knicks head coaches Jeff Van Gundy and Mike D'Antoni, and Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard.
The entire NBA conversation between Karl and DA can be accessed in the audio and video players above.