DETROIT, Mich. (February 9, 2014) — Just hours after his team won its fourth straight home game – and just 50 games into his tenure – Maurice Cheeks has been fired as head coach of the Detroit Pistons.
Yahoo! Sports first reported that Pistons general manager Joe Dumars informed Cheeks of his decision early Sunday.
The team later confirmed those reports.
“This was a difficult decision for the organization to make, but we needed to make a change,” Dumars said in a statement. “We have great respect for Maurice and appreciate his hard work.”
“We have not made the kind of progress that we should have over the first half of the season,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said. “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. I respect and appreciate Maurice Checks and thank him for his efforts. We just require a different approach.”
Detroit was 21-29 this season under Cheeks, despite the addition of free agents Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings in the offseason.
He’s also had head coaching stints with the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers.
Several Pistons players appear to have learned of the news of Cheeks’ firing through social media. Charlie Villanueva (@CV31) tweeted, “Is it true?” shortly after the reports broke.
The Pistons put up their highest regulation point total in almost six years on Saturday, beating the Denver Nuggets 126-109.
The team will play its first game without Cheeks on Monday, hosting the San Antonio Spurs.