With NBA All-Star Weekend quickly approaching, marking the league’s halfway point, most teams are taking a look at what they’ve accomplished in the first half of the season.
And while some teams like Oklahoma City and the Indiana Pacers are playing extremely well, and probably won’t make too many changes, other teams are doing poorly and are switching things around a lot.
One team that’s made a big switch from the top down is the Detroit Pistons, as they’ve just let go of their head coach Maurice Cheeks.
Joe Dumars, president of basketball operations for the team, said it was incredibly tough to let Cheeks go, but he had to. “This was a difficult decision for the organization to make but we needed to make a change,” he said. “We have great respect for Maurice and appreciate his hard work.”
However, team owner Tom Gores wasn’t as kind when talking about Cheeks and the job he did this season, and he started out by criticizing the team’s record to make his point.
“Our record does not reflect our talent and we simply need a change,” he said in a statement. “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.”
And with a current record of 21 and 29, most would probably agree that the Pistons had to make a change and bring in someone who the players responded to a little better, because sometimes it’s best to just make a clean break and bring in a head coach with fresh ideas, so he can build a new level of respect between him and the players.
But Gores was quick to point out that it’ll take more than just getting a new head coach to turn things around. “The responsibility does not fall squarely on any one individual,” he said. But right now this change is a necessary step toward turning this thing around. I still have a lot of hope for this season and I expect our players to step up. I respect and appreciate Maurice Cheeks and thank him for his efforts, we just require a different approach.”
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