By now most Detroit sports fans have heard about the Pistons firing head coach Maurice Cheeks on Sunday (February 9). Despite back-to-back wins Friday and Saturday, the three time NBA champions are currently 21-29 and fighting for a playoff spot. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is an unexpected sympathizer towards the Pistons’ struggles.
Speaking to CLNS Radio, Cuban says making personnel changes is never easy but sometimes it has to be done for the good of the franchise.
“I feel for [Pistons owner] Tom Gores up in Detroit,” Cuban said. “He made a tough decision and I’m sure it was the right decision. Mo Cheeks is a great coach, but sometimes that’s not enough.”
The hiring of Cheeks back in June was met with a lukewarm response by fans and the media. The former Philadelphia 76ers point guard was never a proven leader during previous coaching stints with Philly and the Portland Trailblazers. Still, Cuban says it’s not that easy hiring a head coach.
“Hiring a head coach is the hardest thing to do in professional sports, by far,” Cuban states. “There is nothing else even close and so you just never know until you know.”
He continues: “[Consistency] makes a big difference. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. But, it’s also a management scenario where they got to be connected to the players and if you lose that at all, then you got big problems.”
With Cheeks’ previous benching of starters Josh Smith and Andre Drummond, and his on-court argument with backup point guard Will Bynum last week, it was only a matter of time before Gores and President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars pulled the plug. The question remains whether or not Dumars can reclaim the magic he had during the 2003-2008 seasons. For both the team and his sake, we certainly hope so.