After an abysmal 9-14 start to the season, the Philadelphia 76ers announced today, 12/13/08, that they have fired head coach .
The Sixers were primed for a big season after signing top free agent to a contract this off- season. Coming off of a surprise playoff year, expectations have not been met thus far into the season, explaining why Cheeks was fired. Cheeks was fired in his fourth year as coach. He used to be a star player for the 76ers, playing in 4 all star games in a 15 year career in which he spent 11 seasons with the Sixers. His name and number 10 jersey hangs in the rafters at the Wachovia Center.
Set to take his coaching position is assistant general manager, Tony DiLeo, who took the court as coach for the first time tonight as the Sixers played the . Greeting him at pre- game introductions was a plethora of boos from fans that obviously were not happy that Cheeks was fired.
Besides their disappointing start to the season, possibly the most significant reason for Cheeks firing is the lack of production of Elton Brand. Signed to an $80 million deal, Brand’s production is far below his career averages at 15.9 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. New coach Tony DiLeo believes that Brand can turn his season around.
“Elton can fit into a running game,” DiLeo said. “He’s a perfect trailer. He can catch, he can shoot, he can put it on the floor.”
Although many may be unhappy with the change, having a new coach brings a new look and atmosphere to the struggling 76ers. Perhaps the change will bring better results and help the 76ers to reach the potential that they have yet to reach this season.
*Quote Credit-from AP article on yahoo sports