Rumor: Smith, Billups went to Dumars to get Cheeks fired

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Report from Peter Vecsey cites an unnamed source, doesn't make much sense.

The Detroit Pistons fired Maurice Cheeks after both Josh Smith and a supportive Chauncey Billups went to Dumars to demand the coach's ouster, alleges Peter Vecsey of the New York Post.

I say alleges knowing that it is a loaded word that one should usually avoid. But it is totally appropriate when considering one of the many buckshot pellets consistently spewed out by the rumor-monger Vecsey. He shouldn't be trusted and I certainly don't put much of any stock in this rumor.

And it is important to note that this report doesn't make that much sense based on the facts that have been previously reported on Cheeks' firing. First, we know that Dumars wasn't supportive of Cheeks being fired and fought to give the first-year head coach more time. Second, since the firing of Cheeks there has been little if any change in the role of either Smith or Billups. If Smith had a problem with Cheeks it was probably system-related (as by all accounts he is a quality individual), but since Loyer took over, Smith's role in the offense hasn't really changed one iota. He is still starting at small forward though he probably wishes he was the starting power forward, and he's still running the same plays as before. Billups, meanwhile, has been out with an injury and just had knee surgery.

The only iota of credence I could give to this report is this vague sense that Vecsey's source might be Dave Checketts, who I think has a long-standing relationship with Vecsey in New York and who is a good friend of Pistons owner Tom Gores, who, again, was the one who demanded the coach be fired. When Gores bought the team, Checketts served as a consultant who advised the new NBA owner on setting up his management team and even consulted on the Pistons coaching search that resulted in the hiring of Lawrence Frank.

Again, that is just a vague notion I have and a quick search around the Internet was not able to confirm any sort of buddy-buddy relationship between Vecsey and Checketts. But even if that sense is true, it makes me 90 percent sure the report is bogus as opposed to 100 percent.

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