For roughly the millionth time in pro sports history, mistakes by the front office have cost the coach his job. Between the team-altering free agent signing of Elton Brand and an inopportune 2-8 stretch that pushed Philly’s record to 9-14, the environment became too toxic for Maurice Cheeks to keep his job, and according to the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, the four-year head coach was fired today.
It’s hard to say what’s more ludicrous: that five head coaches have already been fired in a season that isn’t even a third of the way finished, or the notion that Cheeks was the problem in the Illadelph. As ESPN.COM correctly notes, “[a]fter signing Elton Brand… the Sixers have looked nothing like last season’s up-tempo squad that advanced to the playoffs.” Indeed, the production of Andre Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert, and Thaddeus Young have all tailed off; each is at least three points lower on the Hollinger Efficiency Index this year compared to last. For a team whose offense relied on its superior athleticism, adding a reliable but lumbering beast like Elton Brand was like putting lead Pumas on Usain Bolt.