Pistons fire coach Cheeks after 21-29 start
The Detroit Pistons are in search of a new head coach.
Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report Sunday that general manager Joe Dumars had fired Maurice Cheeks.
The team later confirmed the firing.
“Our record does not reflect our talent and we simply need a change,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a press release. “We have not made the kind of progress that we should have over the first half of the season. This is a young team and we knew there would be growing pains, but we can be patient only as long as there is progress."
After a two-game winning streak over the weekend, Dumars advocated giving Cheeks more time, but Gores stood firm.
Gores made it clear before the season started that he expected the Pistons to make the playoffs this season.
The Pistons are 21-29 after the two straight wins and remain a half-game behind the Charlotte Bobcats for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
The players were made aware of the firing on Twitter.
Point guard Brandon Jennings first said, "Wait what."
Charlie Villanueva said, "Is is true?"
Later Jennings tweeted, "I will like to thank Mo Cheeks for everything, thank you for helping me become a better person & player. I’m still learning."
Wojnarowski reported that an interim coach had not been appointed, but assistant John Loyer was expected to be the leading candidate.
Since becoming general manager in 2000, Dumars has now fired eight different coaches.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, it was the fifth fastest firing for a coach that started a season with a new team in the last 25 years.