Paul Westphal never really had a chance when he went toe to toe with the giant ego and immaturity of DeMarcus Cousins. Maybe a different coach would have found a better way to handle the Sacramento Kings young center, but as we've seen so often in the NBA there's no winning those battles when the line is drawn in the sand between budding superstar and expendable coach.
Westphal took the fall on Thursday with the Kings announcing his dismissal. The Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor member was 51-120 during his tenure in Sactown during which he had the one of the smallest payrolls in recent NBA history.
The writing was on the wall when the Kings allowed Westphal to send Cousins home for a day and send out a press release about the decision without publicly backing his play. The front office that assembled the odd collection of players lacking maturity, leadership or fit did what teams so often do in these situations and axed the easiest guy they could find.
Westphal played for the Suns from 1975-1980 and coached Phoenix to its second and most recent NBA Finals appearance in 1993. He famously had issues coaching the large ego of Gary Payton during his time as the Seattle SuperSonics coach in 2000.