Latest News, NBA / Feb 9, 2014 / 4:11 pm

Report: Maurice Cheeks Fired As Pistons Coach

Maurice Cheeks

Maurice Cheeks (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Early Sunday morning, Pistons general manager Joe Dumars informed Maurice Cheeks he had been let go as the coach of the underperforming Pistons, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Sources tell Woj, Pistons owner Tom Gores was behind the firing and Dumars advocated that Cheeks be given more time.

Cheeks is the first head coach to be dismissed this season. He was in the first year of a two-year deal he signed with Detroit when he was hired this summer.

Despite Dumars informing Cheeks of the decision, he had reportedly petitioned to Gores that Cheeks be given more time with a roster that was revamped this summer with the free agent signing of Josh Smith and the sign-and-trade for Brandon Jennings. The Pistons owner has been critical of the team’s performance this season, and pulled the trigger on the move despite back-to-back wins by the Pistons in their last two games.

According to Yahoo’s sources, Dumars had lobbied Gores to keep Cheeks through the spring to allow him more time with the refurbished lineup. But the owner was adamant that a change be made:

Owner Tom Gores had become increasingly impatient with Cheeks, and sources with knowledge of his plans say that he had been pushing for a change in the coaching staff.

Eight different coaches have been replaced under Dumars’ run as GM, but league sources told Yahoo Sports he had been an advocate of giving Cheeks more time as coach – especially in light of back-to-back victories over the weekend.

Pistons assistant John Loyer will be appointed the interim head coach for the rest of the season, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Detroit has no plans to conduct a search for a longer-term replacement until the spring.

Cheeks had a confrontation with low-key guard Will Bynum during Detroit’s loss to Orlando on Wednesday night, and Bynum said he doesn’t regret the clash, except to say, “I regret the fact that maybe I was a bit too passionate about it. But other than that, I don’t.”

At the time of the firing, the 57-year-old “Mo” Cheeks had the Pistons at 21-29 on the season after their last two victories, and just half a game back from tying Charlotte for the No. 8 seed in the East.

UPDATE:
Despite John Loyer taking over in the interim, and Woj’s sources saying Detroit won’t look for a replacement until the spring, Marc Stein of ESPN says they’re targeting former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins to replace Cheeks this year:

(Yahoo)

Should Cheeks have been given more time to right the ship?

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  • SweetdickWilly

    Hollins may be walking into a minefield if he took that job. With jobs on the line and the fact that Hollins will hold guys accountable may work against him there. The Pistons have Knicks Syndrome when it comes to being put together. Cheeks got shit on.