Pistons Fire Mo Cheeks

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

According to a multitude of sources (I heard it from a friend, then saw Wojnarowski’s report on Twitter), Mo Cheeks has been let go as the Pistons head coach.  The Pistons sit half a game back of the Charlotte Bobcats for the 8th seed in the East, well below the expectations set forth by the weight of $80 million dollars in free agency signings and of owner Tom Gores.  Assistant coach John Loyer will serve as the interim head coach.  Reports are that Loyer will fill that role for the rest of the season, but don’t be surprised to see the Pistons go after Lionel Hollins, according to Vincent Goodwill.  Loyer has always been a bridesmaid, but never a bride.  He’s been an assistant his whole career across multiple college and pro stops.  He came to the Pistons when Lawrence Frank was hired and has a reputation as a defensive-minded coach.

The decision is said to have been made by Tom Gores, and not Joe Dumars; probably not a good sign for Joe D.  Pistons players, including Brandon Jennings and Charlie Villaneuva (still here!), took to Twitter to express both their shock and disappointment over the firing.  It never looks good when these things come out before the players know, let’s hope that it doesn’t cast a shadow over the start of Loyer’s tenure.


Looking forward and reading into things, this may provide some hope that the Pistons won’t just stand pat at the trade deadline.  With $16 million dollars in expiring contracts, the Pistons could use those contracts to facilitate a deal for a supporting player, or to acquire a draft pick in this year’s loaded class.  Gores clearly wants the wheels in motion, so keep an eye out over the next few weeks to see what happens.  Follow  along with the website and on twitter, @kevinatlod.

Topics: John Loyer, Mo Cheeks

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  • Ottist

    Well Kevin, I hope we do go after Hollins as there isn’t too many other options out there. We can not take another chance on an unproven coach. As far as I’m concerned, you have Hollins, Avery Johnson, George Karl, the Van Gundy’s, Byron Scott & who ever is on the hot seat right now (Woodson). But it’s gotta be an X & O’s coach that can put schemes together. I think Larry Brown or Doug Collins are too old to deal with the headache. What’s your thoughts?

    • Kevin Alberda

      I’m all-in for Hollins, I think he’s the best coach on that list you gave, which is the whole pool right now, plus Kelvin Sampson. He knows how to coach good post players and ought to be able to really help our young players grow defensively. Everything I’ve seen on Twitter suggests that either they’ll hire Hollins or let Loyer coach the season out.

      • Ottist

        Kevin, do you think Detroit will move expeditiously on signing Hollins to secure their man or let Loyers finish the season and see what he can do? They may have a diamond in the rough and not even know it. I’m split on this one.

        • Kevin Alberda

          That’s a great question, and I’m not sure that the front office even knows right now. Loyer’s debut looked good last night; they played up-tempo, used their size on the offensive glass (not a new thing) and defended pretty well until the 4th. If he can keep that up, he just might earn himself a shot to coach next year too. I think if they do go with Hollins, it won’t be until next year. Hopefully somebody else doesn’t get to him first. CLE, LAL and NO could all be looking for a new coach before the end of the season, among possible others.