Mo Cheeks Fired as Pistons Coach
Contribution by M. Jones
The Motown community was awakened by a siren out of Auburn Hills this morning. I think this lady captures the general reaction nicely.
After an underwhelming start to the 2013 season with a record of 21-29, the Pistons fired head coach Mo Cheeks. With it being only 50 games into the 2014 season, the firing will go down as one of the fastest ever. Only 4 coaches in NBA history have been fired more quickly than Cheeks within their first full season as head coach.
In the past 10 years, this organization has parted ways with 7 coaches. That doesn’t happen in pro sports, at least if your franchise isn’t run by complete morons (see the Oakland Raiders).
For a quick rundown, the Pistons have run through:
Rick Carlisle [That trophy was with Dallas after we fired him]
Larry Brown [The good old days – Carlos Arroyo and McDyess in the building]
Flip Saunders [My thoughts exactly]
Mo Cheeks [Fist pumping for that severance package]
This move clearly marks the moment that Owner, Tom Gores, had seen enough and realized his demand of making the playoffs this season was in serious jeopardy. Is it time for him to dump Joe D as well? Mo Cheeks was Joe D’s guy. So were most of the guys mentioned above. At what point does he have to take ultimate responsibility for this clusterfuck of a team that can’t go .500 in a historically bad conference or draw more than 15,000 fans a game (per espn.com)? Their attendance is currently 4th worst in the league. For the record the 14.6k fans that they claim they are averaging is laughable. I watch Pistons games, and there is no way they have actually averaged that many people in the Palace seats. It feels more like 5,000 people a night.
For my money, I was never impressed with Mo Cheeks. The roster has talent but it clearly isn’t being used right. What is the game plan from here? Who even wants this job right now that will offer zero job security, with clear turmoil between management and ownership? The early rumor is Lionel Hollins, former head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. I would be in favor of this. I watched that Memphis team closely the past few years and saw him turn a middle of the pack roster into a playoff threat. I think the whole NBA world is still a little confused by the Grizzlies decision not to renew his contract at the end of last year.
We will have to wait and see but here is to hoping Gores cuts tie with Dumars, signs Hollins as the coach, and finds a talented GM to come in and fix the problems. I’ll keep wishing.