Even by the Detroit Pistons’ recent standards, this was an abrupt change.
Detroit fired coach Maurice Cheeks on Sunday after less than a year as coach, with the Pistons languishing well below .500 despite offseason moves aimed at putting the struggling franchise back in contention.
Detroit is 21-29, and although the Pistons still have a decent chance to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, their new roster has performed erratically.
“This was a difficult decision for the organization to make but we needed to make a change,” team president Joe Dumars said in a statement. “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 said.
A source said assistant John Loyer will take over as interim coach. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced an interim coach. The Pistons haven’t made the playoffs since being swept in the first round in 2009 — Michael Curry’s only season as coach. Detroit has gone through two seasons under John Kuester and two under Lawrence Frank.