Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Pistons Fire Michael Curry
The Detroit Pistons fired Michael Curry ((pictured, thanks WJBK-TV)) on Tuesday after finishing under .500 in his first year as coach and was swept in the first round of the playoffs.
The Pistons began the season with big hopes but couldn't recover from the loss of All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups in a November trade to Denver for Allen Iverson.
The Pistons went 39-43 and exited the postseason in four lopsided losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Joe Dumars, the team's president for basketball operations, said after that series that Curry would return.
"This was a difficult decision to make," Dumars said in a statement Tuesday. "I want to thank Michael for his hard work and dedication to the organization. However, at this time, I have decided to make a change."
Immediately after the season, Dumars defended Curry in the face of Detroit's demise.
"It was an up-and-down season for him," Dumars said. "And, an up-and down-season for us. ... The fact that we made so many changes for a first-year coach, I had to step back and be a little more patient than I have been."
"During the season I said to myself, 'What effect is this having on him as a first-year coach.' I tried to put myself in his shoes."
A message was left on Curry's cell phone Tuesday seeking comment. In January, he said he expected to be held responsible for the team's fortunes.
"It's part of the job," he said. "When you lose, it's the coach's fault. When you win, the players get the praise."
Dumars fired coach Flip Saunders last year after he led the team to the Eastern Conference finals in each of his three seasons. Curry was an assistant under Saunders for one season.
The Pistons parted ways with Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown in 2005 after he helped them win a title and almost repeat during his two years with the team.
Rick Carlisle was fired after two years with the Pistons following an Eastern Conference finals appearance in his second season and NBA Coach of the Year honors in his first.
Curry is a former president of the NBA Players Association. He played for the Pistons in 1995-1997 and 1999-2003.
Here's Dumars full interview with MyFoxDetroit's Jennifer Hammond...