According to Yahoo! Sports, the Detroit Pistons have decided to fire head coach Maurice Cheeks after just 50 games into his first season with the team.
Cheeks finished with a 21-29 record as Detroit currently sits in 9th place in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons entered the season with high expectations, as they made roster moves that they believed put them in a position to contend for a playoff spot.
Detroit will now be searching for their 9th head coach since Joe Dumars took over as general manager. Will the team promote within the existing coaching staff or seek a coach elsewhere?
According to several media reports, assistant head coach John Loyer is the front-runner to take over for the remainder of the season.
If Detroit decides to look for a coach outside of the organization, former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins could become a top candidate for the Pistons gig. ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted that coaching sources believe he will be a prime target for Detroit.
Hollins and the Grizzlies parted ways last season after a five year stint that included a trip to the team’s first Western Conference Finals. He was also involved in a similar situation, as he took over as head coach of Memphis halfway through a season as well.
Regardless of who Detroit ends up hiring, one has to wonder just how much longer Dumars will have his job. Coaches get fired all of the time for poor records or a lack of chemistry with the players. However, at some point, the GM has to take the blame. The result of Dumars’ fate will most likely come at season’s end.