Pistons fire Coach Maurice Cheeks after 50 games at helm

DETROIT, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The Detroit Pistons announced Sunday head Coach Maurice Cheeks has been fired after just 50 games behind the bench.

President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars said in an issued statement Cheeks -- who was hired during the off-season to replace the fired Lawrence Franks -- was dismissed after the Pistons started the season with a disappointing 21-29 mark.


"This was a difficult decision for the organization to make but we needed to make a change," Dumars said. "We have great respect for Maurice and appreciate his hard work."

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

The Pistons will now seek their fifth head coach since 2008.

Despite its poor record, Detroit is just one-half game behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot in a weak Eastern Conference.


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