Flip Saunders is fired

From the Detroit Free Press:

In a statement released this morning, president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said: "Decisions like this are difficult to make, especially with the success we have had throughout the last three regular-seasons. However, at this time, I feel it is necessary to make a change. I thank Flip for his hard work and dedication, but it is time for a new voice to lead our team."

Pistons.com has the same.

Update: I'm hearing there's a press conference will be at 2 pm.

2nd Update: A. Sherrod Blakely says Michael Curry will be announced sometime this week.

3rd Update: Keith Langlois is saying Michael Curry, too.

No word yet on a successor to Saunders, though it would be at least a mild surprise if it wasn’t going to be Michael Curry. A former teammate of Dumars in the ’90s, Curry was brought back to Detroit as a free agent at the urging of Dumars in his one-year transition period from player to president when Rick Sund was general manager. Dumars brought Curry back to the team last summer as an assistant coach after Curry had spent two years working for the league office.

Though it would normally seem risky to hire a first-time head coach – especially one with just one year as an assistant under his belt – as the leader of a title-contending team, Curry would assume the job under difference circumstances. Not only is he deeply respected by the current players – Curry, as an NBA role player, rose to president of Players Association – but Curry is eminently steeped in Pistons culture.

4th Update: Chris McCosky is pinning this on Bill Davidson: "Apparently, Pistons owner Bill Davidson has seen enough of the Flip Saunders era."

I find it extremely hard to believe Joe Dumars didn't agree with the move. Suggesting otherwise just seems defensive.

Update V: I just called and received confirmation that Rasheed Wallace is still scheduled to appear at SNYX tonight. The idea of actually attending that just got a lot more interesting.

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