Pistons fire head coach Maurice Cheeks

Sun Feb 9, 2014 3:10pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - The Detroit Pistons have fired head coach Maurice Cheeks after barely half a season in charge of the National Basketball Association team, the club announced on Sunday.

Cheeks became the first NBA head coach fired this season.

"This was a difficult decision for the organization to make but we needed to make a change," President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars said in a statement.

The Pistons are ninth in the Eastern Conference this season at 21-29, though they have won their past two games.

"Our record does not reflect our talent and we simply need a change," said Pistons owner Tom Gores.

"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."

Cheeks, 57, was appointed coach in June on a two-year deal.

An NBA point guard for 15 seasons, primarily with the Philadelphia 76ers where he was part of the 1983 championship-winning team, Cheeks previously served as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers and 76ers.

"The leadership and player development qualities he brings as a former player and coach blends nicely with the roster we are building for the future," Dumars said at the time of the hiring.   Continued...

 
Oct 12, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks looks on against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of the preseason game at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports - RTX149AC