The official statement:
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Detroit Pistons announced today that Maurice Cheeks has been relieved of his head coaching duties. The Pistons recorded a 21-29 record over Cheeks' first 50 games.
"This was a difficult decision for the organization to make but we needed to make a change," said President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars. "We have great respect for Maurice and appreciate his hard work."
"Our record does not reflect our talent and we simply need a change," said Pistons owner Tom Gores. "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. The responsibility does not fall squarely on any one individual, 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."
A 28-word statement from Dumars followed by a 117-word comment from Tom Gores. Noted without additional comment.
The team also named John Loyer the official interim coach, though that might be a temporary assignment for Loyer. The team has a game Monday against the San Antonio Spurs and another Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers before the All-Star Break.
The team is known to be interested in hiring Lionel Hollins as a more permanent replacement, and the interest apparently is mutual. A hiring could be made there between now and when the team gets back into action after the All-Star Break.