Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Detroit Pistons have decided to fire head coach Maurice Cheeks after less than one whole season on the job. The announcement came to Cheeks by general manager Joe Dumars after the Pistons strung together back to back victories over the weekend. Apparently, Tom Gores had been in possession of an itchy trigger finger for some time on the move.
Owner Tom Gores had become increasingly impatient with Cheeks, and sources with knowledge of his plans say he had been pushing for a change in the coaching staff.
The Pistons had struggled to a disappointing 21-29 mark under Cheeks, and had seen incidents such as benchings, team meltdowns at the end of games and coaching mistakes doom them. The frustration within Cheeks' tenure may have came to a head last week when the coach got into a verbal spat with Detroit guard Will Bynum and then declined to talk with Bynum after the fact.
Cheeks was on the first year of a two year contract with the Pistons. He signed on with the team last summer, and the thinking was the calm, stable former guard would be able to bring respect, discipline and accountability to the Detroit locker room, which was in need of such elements. It didn't happen, considering the team has seen the same mistakes plague their roster.
Assistant John Loyer is expected to take over coaching the team the rest of the year. The question now becomes how much longer might Dumars last in town if Gores was motivated to go over his head to replace Cheeks? USA Today NBA scribe Sam Amick immediately tweeted that many will believe Lionel Hollins should get the next crack at the job.
Will Dumars survive the season? Should he? Those are questions best suited for another day. Right now, the Pistons' immediate focus will be searching for their sixth coach since Larry Brown.
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